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Mothercare online sales boost

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Mothercare online sales rose by 13.7% in the first 15 weeks of the year, helped by the launch of a new website for the Early Learning Centre.

The company also announced at its annual general meeting (AGM) today that it had bought the brand and trademark of online maternity retailer Blooming Marvellous.

Blooming Marvellous failed in January 2009 after its Icelandic backer pulled out. It was subsequently bought out of administration by a group of investors.

The AGM heard that Mothercare group sales rose by 0.4% in the 15 weeks to July 10, with international sales up by 20.3%. But UK sales were down in total by 2.6%, or 4.1% on a like-for-like basis, a trend bucked by growth in online sales through its Direct in Home channel, up by 13.7%.

Chairman Ian Peacock said its property-focused strategy of restructuring the UK business, while expanding globally with the Mothercare and Early Learning brands had paid off.

He said: “In the UK we continue to plan cautiously for the remainder of this year. In this context, we expect to invest further margin in our customer offer which will be offset, in part, by cost savings and our property restructure. Despite the uncertain UK consumer environment we remain well placed to deliver on our global strategy."

Mothercare now has more than 1,000 stores in 53 countries.

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