Maternity retailer Mothercare plc has seen its first return to underlying profit since 2011, as the firm also warns consumer spending is likely to “remain subdued”.
The retailer posted an underlying profit before tax of £2m for the six months to 12 October 2013, driven by increased sales in emerging markets.
Simon Calver, chief executive of Mothercare plc, said: “The benefits of the changes we are making to the business are clear, with a return to underlying profit.
“We continue to target a return to profit in the UK and the reduced UK operating loss this half year is a step in the right direction.”
The company’s restructuring plans are primarily focused on improving UK like-for-like sales, which dropped 1.4% in the six months to October 2013. Overall UK sales fell 7.5% during the period, impacted by store closures.
Calver said: “We are reshaping the UK business by closing loss making stores in the UK; investing where appropriate in stores; restructuring business processes; improving product, service and value; and investing in online both in the UK and for our international partners.”
“We are making progress towards putting the UK business on a firmer footing and ultimately achieving our goal of profitability. However, we expect consumer spending to remain subdued for the rest of the year.
“I know that the changes we are making will have a lasting impact and I look forward to building on this in the years ahead.”