Maternity retailer Mothercare has announced a preliminary pre-tax loss of £21.5m for the 12 months to the end of March 2013.
The embattled group, which operates approximately 1,300 stores worldwide, closed 56 of its “loss-making” stores, ending the year with 255 locations in the UK.
Mothercare is in the midst of a turnaround plan, spearheaded by chief executive, Simon Calver, who joined the company last year.
Calver said: “Our results reflect the progress we have made against our plans to reduce UK losses and deliver continued international profit growth.
“It is still early days and our customers are already beginning to respond positively buying more products on each trip and increasing their customer satisfaction scores.
“In the UK, we will continue with our strategy to manage the business to cash margins while closing loss making stores and taking out non-store costs.”
UK like-for-like sales dropped 3.6% to £499.7m, compared to a figure of £560m at year end 31 March 2012.
In contrast, like-for-like international sales rose 5.6% to £728.7m from £672.4m in 2012, representing almost 60% of the Mothercare’s total sales.
Mothercare Australia, a joint venture in which Mothercare owned a 23% stake, went into administration in January 2013. 74 stores in Australia and New Zealand were closed.
Calder identified that international markets “with the exception of the eurozone, continue to offer good growth opportunities and we will continue to drive this part of the business forward aggressively, in line with the last year.”