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Mothercare says turnaround on track despite posting loss

By Holly Williams

Retailer Mothercare, which has six stores in Northern Ireland, slumped to a loss after suffering a "difficult" first half as sales were knocked by poor weather and a warehouse overhaul.

The babycare group posted a bottom-line loss of £800,000 in the six months to October 28 against profits of £5.8m a year earlier, with like-for-like UK sales falling by 0.7%.

It said pre-tax profits fell 15.7% to £5.9m. Mothercare said it was hit by unseasonable weather, which sparked heavy discounting across the high street.

The group added that planned warehouse changes disrupted the flow of products for around eight weeks in the summer.

Mothercare chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: "The last six months have been challenging." But he insisted the group's turnaround was making progress despite the tough trading.

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