- Infant merchandise retailer Mothercare swung to a full-year profit after it booked a one-off gain on the loss of control of its UK business, though it also posted an underlying loss as revenue fell.

Net profit for the year through March amounted to £14.4 million, compared to a loss of £97.0 million year-on-year. Revenue dropped 18% to £164.7 million.

On current trading, Mothercare said in the first 28 weeks of the 2021 financial year, its franchise partners had recorded a 39% slump in retail sales to £145.8 million.

The company estimated that 95% of its partners' global retail locations were now open, from a low point of 27% in April.

'We have diligently managed our way through to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during this period of global crisis, and we emerge in better shape than we went into it,' chief executive Clive Whiley said.

After shedding its struggling UK business, Mothercare held onto its overseas assets. It also has signed a franchise agreement in the UK and Ireland with pharmacy chain Boots and has another franchise agreement with Alshaya.

'We have successfully rolled out our innovative, working capital light arrangements with our manufacturing and franchise partners,' Whiley said.

'We are now singularly focused upon building Mothercare as a global brand, both in our existing territories and beyond. '

'We are confident with these foundations now in place Mothercare can move forward as a profitable and cash generative international franchise business, generating revenues through an asset-light model in some 40 international territories.'

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