StockMarketWire.com - Mothercare said the UK market would continue to be 'uncertain and volatile' in the medium term, accompanied by 'fragile' consumer confidence as it warned on profits in a 15-week trading update.

The company said gross margin improvements in the UK may therefore take longer to materialise than expected and that it anticipated underlying full-year profitability would be 'broadly' comparable to the previous year.

However, it noted that it had continued support from lending banks, including agreement to a temporary deferral of the planned loan reductions and other waivers under its debt facilities.

Like-for-like sales fell 3.2% in the UK in the 15 weeks to 13th July, although the firm said that performance had been stronger towards the end of the quarter. UK online sales were impacted by the extensive store closure programme and the loss of iPad sales in those stores, leading to an overall reduction in online sales of 12.1%.

Total UK sales were 23.2% lower than last year, as a result of the extensive store closure programme with its estate now comprising 79 stores, compared with 134 last year.



At 8:09am: [LON:MTC] Mothercare PLC share price was -1.15p at 18.6p



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