Mothercare profits boosted by international expansion

Mothercare, the baby and maternity retailer, has reported a 94% rise in its pre-tax profits at £9.6m for the six months to October. The group says that international expansion and online sales helped to drive profits.

The retailer has reported a 1% increase in sales to £359m, with sales in the UK rising by 0.8% over the 28 weeks to October 11.

Its stores in the Middle East, eastern Europe and Russia contributed to the surge in profits. Ben Gordon, the retailer’s chief executive, says the group is well placed for Christmas, but added that “outlook remained uncertain”.

Meanwhile, Mothercare has also announced plans to open 40 stores in Russia over next three years and expects an additional 20 outlets in Saudi Arabia, India and China. It expects to save £10m in 2009 by combining some of its Early Learning Centre stores, which it acquired a year ago.

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