Online accounts for a third of Mothercare's sales as ailing retailer ends year strongly

Mothercare has reduced its losses, as it ended the year £13.1m in the red versus £26.3m the previous year.

Online performed particularly well for the retailer - which also owns the Early Learning Centre brand – with sales up 18 per cent to account for 30 per cent of total UK sales. Sales via mobile were also up, with 82 per cent of online traffic now generated from mobile.

The retailer attributed the boost to an increase in product images, videos and customer reviews online and an accelerated growth in its customer database.

Mothercare also reported a modest growth in global sales, up one per cent to £1.2bn, with international now courting 62 per cent of worldwide sales.

Alan Parker, chairman of Mothercare, said the year has been one of change for the retailer afer it saw its chief executive and chief financial officer depart in quick succession.

“[We] entered into new financing arrangements with our banks, saw off an unwelcome takeover approach and successfully completed a rights issue,” he added. “I am confident that we now have the right leadership and plans to achieve our clear potential of being a world leading global retailer."

US giant Destination Maternity backed out of a proposed £266m takeover last July. Mothercare rejected the offer for being too low.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones also lauded the new strategy to modernise and reinvigorate the brand, which saw it plough £100m into a digital transformation plan.

"We are making good progress against all six pillars of our strategy and we will continue to build from this platform in the year ahead. There is still much to do and trading conditions may remain challenging, but we will stay singularly focused on our vision of being the leading global retailer for parents and young children,” he added.

The figures covered the year ending March 28.

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