StockMarketWire.com - Struggling infant goods retailer Mothercare booked a deeper first-half loss, as sales continued to slide in a UK business recently placed into administration.

Sales also slipped at the company's remaining offshore stores.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through 12 October amounted to £21.2m, compared to losses of £18.5m on-year.

The company confirmed that its UK business went into administration on 5 November, leaving it only with its overseas stores, which were bundled into the new legal entity Mothercare Global Brand.

Like-for-like sales at the UK business fell another 2.0% during the year.

International retail sales fell 5.3% in constant currency, though Mothercare said that business was showing signs of growth 'in a number of key markets', offset by the Middle East.

In actual currency, international sales were down by a more modest 1.6%.

'This has been an extraordinarily challenging period in Mothercare's 58-year history,' chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said.

'It was simply not financially viable to maintain the UK store estate and supporting infrastructure any longer without putting the whole Mothercare group at risk.'

Newton-Jones said the company was now a 'capital light, cash generative and profitable business' and that it was 'confident in the future of the Mothercare brand'.

'We believe that, without the financial and management burden of running a UK retail operation, we can singularly focus Mothercare on its global international franchise,' he added. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com