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High street pain continues

High street pain continues

Given the recent trouble at children’s chain Mothercare (MTC) it was no surprise that fourth quarter numbers were grim.  David Wood has been chief executive for less than two weeks (replacing Mark Newton-Jones with immediate effect) but he’s already had to report a 2.8 per cent drop in UK like-for-like sales over the 12-week period, which takes the yearly decline to 1.3 per cent. Internationally, things were even worse: underlying sales fell a further 3.7 per cent during the quarter, or 5.8 per cent over the year. Online was marginally better, growing by 2.1 per cent during the final period and by 1.2 per cent overall. But there’s likely more trouble ahead: financing needs remain under discussion with lenders, although Mr Wood insists his priority remains getting the company back on a sound footing.

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