Mothercare's battle to fix its UK business received a boost when the retail chain revealed a smaller loss from summer trading.
The company, which owns the Early Learning Centre (ELC) brand, said UK like-for-like sales rose 1.5% in the six months to October 11 as it moved to reduce its reliance on promotions and continued to close failing stores.
Losses for the UK business were £13.5m, an improvement of 9% on a year earlier and helping the group return to profit with a figure of £5.5m amid continued progress in its international franchise operation.
The update comes a month after shareholders raised £100m for the modernisation and digital overhaul of the UK business.
The plan includes more store closures as Mothercare looks for a core UK estate of 110 out-of-town shops and 50 in-town sites. Closures will be offset by the opening of approximately 15-20 new stores or by relocations to larger, better located premises.