- Mothercare said UK like-for-like sales up 1.9% in the 15 week period to July 8th 2017.

We entered the end of season sale with lower stocks and are achieving a higher sell through rate.

UK online sales grew by 3.3%. Total UK sales were lower than last year, reflecting ongoing store closure programme.

Retail space at the end of the quarter reduced to 1.4m square feet, as expected, with 147 stores (143 Mothercare and four ELC).

International retail sales were down 8.3% in constant currency and up 2.2% in actual currency, primarily driven by continued weakness in the Middle East.

Online sales growth of 53% in constant currency and 78% in actual currency.

We opened 26 stores and closed 43 during the period, mainly driven by market exits as we consolidated partners, including Kazakhstan, ending the quarter with c2.9m sq.ft with 1,133 stores.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Newton-Jones said: "We have continued to make progress in the UK during the period. We have seen customers respond well to our end of season sale, which we entered with less stock than last year, and are achieving a higher sell through rate.

"Whilst online sales recorded a lower growth, in contrast to higher sales growth in store, we don't believe this represents an underlying permanent shift in customer behaviour.

"We are about to launch our autumn ranges, but it remains uncertain how consumers will respond to inflation.

"In our International business, the challenging economic conditions in the Middle East continue and are impacting overall performance, and so the outlook remains volatile.

"We continue to export our learnings from the UK as our business improves here, to support our partners with the modernisation of their franchise businesses, and see further opportunities for growth both online and in stores.

"We remain firmly focused on our strategy, both here in the UK and internationally. Our vision remains clear: to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children."

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