(Reuters) - Baby goods retailer Mothercare Plc (MTC.L) said third-quarter sales in the UK returned to growth, helped by a rise in online orders.
The company, which has been trying to revive its British business that has come under pressure from tough competition, said total sales in the UK for the 13 weeks to Jan. 7 rose 0.6 percent, with online sales rising 5.5 percent.
Sales at UK stores open over a year rose 1 percent during the quarter and online sales now represent about 40 percent of its total UK sales, the company said.
The return to growth in its British business comes after it has suffered heavy losses as margins have eroded over the past few years, partly hurt by cheaper competition from rivals such as AB Foods’ (ABF.L) unit Primark and online retailers including Amazon (AMZN.O).
International retail sales were down 6 percent in constant currency basis hurt by currency tailwinds, the company said.
It opened 40 stores in the period and shut 28, bringing its total store count to 1,351 in the quarter.
Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Sunil Nair