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Mothercare half-year profit jumps as costs fall sharper than revenue

24th Nov 2023 11:20

(Alliance News) - Mothercare PLC on Friday reported higher interim profit as cost of sales declined faster than revenue.

The Hemel Hempstead, England-based operator of a retail franchise focused on parents and young children said in the 26 weeks to September 23, pretax profit jumped to GBP2.0 million from GBP800,000 a year ago. This came despite topline pressure.

International retail sales by franchise partners fell 15% on-year to GBP137.2 million, from GBP162.1 million a year before.

It reflects difficult trading conditions in the Middle East, the firm explained. Its revenue declined 25% to GBP29.0 million from GBP38.5 million, having seen a steady fall from GBP41.7 million and GBP44.4 million two and three prior half-years respectively.

Mothercare's cost of sales meanwhile decreased by 30% to GBP19.0 million from GBP27.5 million, while administrative expenses narrowed 21% to GBP6.4 million from GBP8.1 million.

"We are continuing with our efforts to refinance the group and remain in discussions with key stakeholders and financing partners to ensure that the group has adequate and appropriate financing for the future," said Chair Clive Wiley.

Looking ahead, he said: "We remain focused on restoring critical mass and monetising the Mothercare global brand IP to further free up cashflow, in addition to the significant reduction in pension contributions, to invest in the long-term corporate development of the group."

The company declared no dividend, unchanged from a year ago.

Mothercare shares rose 4.3% to 4.90 pence each on Friday morning in London.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News slot editor

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