Mothercare launches UK business review

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Mothercare has launched a structural and operational review of its UK business after a difficult first half resulted in an £18.5m operating loss.

Chairman Alan Parker said it would consider the number, format and location of retail outlets and the plan for e-commerce.

“It will also include the right-sizing of our overheads to fit the new operating base. The review will include the important Christmas trading period and will be completed in the first quarter of the calendar year with implementation in 2012/13.”

The group has already announced a UK property restructure involving the closure of 111 loss-making in-town stores by March 2013. This comprises 76 closures at lease expiry together with the disposal of 35 further loss-making stores.

The bright spot for the group was its international business in which sales increased by 14.9 per cent to £342.8 million. International operating profit increased by 16.5 per cent to £18.4 million.

In China Mothercare has a joint venture which now has 14 profitable stores in 5 cities. It expects to open 15 new stores and enter 8 new cities next year.

In India, Mothercare now has 74 stores in 17 cities with its joint venture partner and our franchise partners. “We are on track to achieve our target of 200 stores by March 2015 and to support this growth we have opened two new logistics hubs in Chennai and Delhi.”

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