Mothercare PLC Mothercare Plc : Interim Management Statement

                          INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT 
                               Q3 TRADING UPDATE 
                    Transformation and Growth plan on track 
Mothercare  plc,  the  leading  international  mother  and  baby retailer, today 
updates  on Q3  trading covering  the 13-week  and 41-week  period to 12 January 
Simon Calver, Chief Executive of Mothercare plc, summarised: 
"We  have made solid progress during Q3, despite a challenging consumer backdrop 
for  the UK and Eurozone. International continues to see double-digit growth and 
in  the  UK  we  have  made  further  progress  closing  loss making stores. The 
transition  to our new online platform has  passed the test of peak trading with 
Direct  in Home growing at double-digit  rates during December. Our work towards 
delivering  improved value,  choice and  service for  our customers continues to 
make an impact and I am very encouraged by the new ranges and innovative product 
ready to go into stores for spring/summer 2013." 
Group performance, third quarter and year to date 
                                           Q3 - 13 weeks to Q3 YTD - 41 weeks to 
                                           12 January 2013    12 January 2013 
Worldwide network sales((1))                    (0.2%)             +1.3% 
Total group sales                               (7.4%)             (6.5%) 
International retail sales in constant 
currencies ((1))                                +14.8%             +15.1% 
International retail sales((1) )                +12.0%             +11.2% 
Total UK sales                                 (12.9%)            (10.1%) 
UK like-for-like sales((1))                     (5.9%)             (4.4%) 
Direct in Home sales                            +0.9%              +0.9% 
Highlights for Q3 
  * On track with our three-year Transformation and Growth plan 
  * International continues to deliver double-digit growth 
  * UK strategy to exit loss making stores progressing well 
  * Cash tightly controlled with continued focus on cash gross margin 
Our  International business opened  a net 31 stores  during the quarter, and now 
operates  from 1,129 stores across  61 countries. Our full  year target of circa 
15% space growth is unchanged. 
International  retail sales  grew by  14.8% in constant  currency while reported 
retail sales were up 12.0% as currency moves continued to have an adverse impact 
during  Q3. With  the exception  of Europe,  International continues  to deliver 
double  digit  growth  and  remains  inline  with  expectations.  Progress  from 
countries  such as Russia and Turkey  is offsetting Eurozone weakness, resulting 
in low single digit growth for Europe during the quarter. 
A  further 11 stores  (8 ELC  and 3 Mothercare)  were closed during the quarter, 
which  means our UK business now operates from 269 stores compared to 311 stores 
at  the beginning of  the year. As  a result, reflecting  the ongoing closure of 
loss making stores, total UK sales were down 12.9% during Q3. 
Consistent with the two-year trend and our focus on cash gross margins, which we 
highlighted  at the Interims,  UK like-for-like sales  were down 5.9% during Q3. 
The  transition  to  a  new  online  platform  and  our  mobile initiatives have 
continued  to benefit Direct in Home, which grew 0.9% during Q3 with December up 
over 12%. 
Our  continued  progress  with  improving  value,  choice  and  service  for our 
customers  is evident  in better  prices, new  and innovative product and better 
staff engagement with customers. 
Our  three-year Transformation and Growth plan  remains on track. We are working 
towards transforming the UK while growing International profits. 
Financial position 
Following  the update on Q3 trading, there has been no significant change to the 
financial position of the Company. 
Enquiries to: 
Mothercare plc 
Ramona Tipnis, Director of Investor Relations                 01923 206455 
Tulchan Communications 
Katharine Wynne & Susanna Voyle                               020 7353 4200 
Note  1 - UK like-for-like sales are defined as sales from stores that have been 
trading continuously from the same selling space for at least a year and include 
Direct in Home and Direct in Store. International retail sales are the estimated 
retail  sales of overseas franchisees and joint ventures and associates to their 
customers. International like-for-like sales are the estimated franchisee retail 
sales  from stores  that have  been trading  continuously from  the same selling 
space  for at least  a year. Total  International sales are International retail 
sales  plus  International  Wholesale  sales.  Worldwide network sales are total 
International sales plus total UK sales. 
Note   2 -   This   announcement  contains  certain  forward-looking  statements 
concerning  the company. Although the Board  believes its expectations are based 
on  reasonable assumptions,  the matters  to which  such statements refer may be 
influenced  by  factors  that  could  cause  actual  outcomes  and results to be 
materially  different. The forward-looking statements speak  only as at the date 
of  this document and the company does  not undertake any obligation to announce 
any  revisions  to  such  statements,  except  as  required  by  law  or  by any 
appropriate regulatory authority. 
This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of 
Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: 
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and 
    other applicable laws; and 
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and 
     originality of the information contained therein. 
Source: Mothercare Plc via Thomson Reuters ONE 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2013 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)