Singapore markets closed
  • Straits Times Index

    3,166.94
    -13.67 (-0.43%)
     
  • Nikkei

    27,283.59
    -498.83 (-1.80%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    25,961.03
    -354.29 (-1.35%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,032.30
    -46.12 (-0.65%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    39,015.73
    -757.52 (-1.90%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    927.98
    -21.93 (-2.31%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,401.20
    -17.95 (-0.41%)
     
  • Dow

    34,963.75
    -120.78 (-0.34%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    14,689.63
    -88.63 (-0.60%)
     
  • Gold

    1,817.70
    -18.10 (-0.99%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    74.13
    +0.51 (+0.69%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.2360
    -0.0330 (-2.60%)
     
  • FTSE Bursa Malaysia

    1,494.60
    -18.33 (-1.21%)
     
  • Jakarta Composite Index

    6,070.04
    -50.69 (-0.83%)
     
  • PSE Index

    6,270.23
    -226.30 (-3.48%)
     

Mothercare hopeful for future after completing store closures

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a Mothercare store in Altricham, Britain, May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Yates/File Photo

(Reuters) - Embattled UK retailer Mothercare Plc slashed its outstanding net debt to just under 7 million pounds last year as it completed a programme of store closures that its leadership hopes will put the company on a more solid financial footing.

The baby products retailer, on an emergency footing that has seen it close a third of its UK stores in the past 12 months, registered a loss before tax from continuing operations of 67 million pounds versus 94 million pounds a year earlier.

But the company, which aims to be debt-free by the end of 2019, slashed its debt burden by 84.4% compared to a year ago to just 6.9 million pounds.

Shares of the owner of the Little Bird, Baby K and Blooming Marvellous brands surged 19.1% to 24.3 pence in response.

"We have achieved a huge amount this year, refinancing, restructuring and reorganising Mothercare to ensure a sustainable future for the business," Chief Executive Officer Mark Newton-Jones said.

"The majority of that work is now done."

The high street retailer has been facing intense competition from a new generation of online players which forced it to take radical steps last year that included closing over a third of its UK stores.

Like-for-like sales in the UK, where it has been losing money for more than a decade, continued to falter and tumbled nearly 9%. Annual worldwide sales slipped 8% to 1.07 billion pounds.

"The next phase of our strategic transformation plan is to develop Mothercare as a global brand, maximising the opportunities we see across many international markets," Newton-Jones said.

($1 = 0.7884 pounds)

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting