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Mothercare announces new jobs amid 11% increase in profits

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by Kay Mitchell

Mothercare appears to be bucking the trend amid British retailers after the group announced a profit of £10 million for the six months to 10 October, up 11% compared with a year earlier.

Sales for the half-year period were £387.3 million compared with £359 million in the same period a year ago – a rise of almost 8%.

The company, which specialises in merchandise for expectant mothers and clothing and products for babies and children, also announced it would create 400 jobs as part of plans to open more than 30 parenting centres across the UK.

Eight of the parenting centres, which will be open by Christmas, will be located in Stoke, Newton Abbey, Poole, King’s Lynn, Lewisham, Colliers Wood, Kirkcaldy and Yeovil.

The remaining 25 will be open by the end of 2011 said the group.

Shares in Mothercare have more than doubled over the last 12 months and shares closed at 626p yesterday, valuing the business at £551 million.

The group, which is debt free, trades from more than 1,000 shops in over 50 countries. Last month, it said it was stepping up expansion in China and India.

The company appears to have fared better than other retailers during the downturn, benefiting from home shopping and the integration of the Early Learning Centre (ELC) brand it purchased in 2007.

Ben Gordon, Mothercare’s chief executive, comments: “This has been another strong half for the Mothercare group. International has delivered a record first half with retail sales up 29.6% and store openings ahead of plan.”

Mr Gordon added Mothercare had opened 85 stores already this year and will increase its interim dividend by 20%.

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News posted: November 18, 2009

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