Mothercare, a leading global retailer focusing on parents and young children, has appointed Daniel Le Vesconte as its new CEO. Le Vesconte, who will join the company at the beginning of next year, brings a wealth of international brand experience, particularly in direct-to-consumer, franchise, wholesale, and licensing. His past leadership roles at renowned brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and Dr. Martens make him a valuable addition to Mothercare’s ongoing turnaround efforts.

The company recently released its unaudited half-year results for the 26-week period ending on September 24. While the figures showed a decline in sales and profits, Mothercare remains optimistic about the progress it has made. International retail sales by franchise partners decreased to £162.1 million, excluding the Russian business that Mothercare has exited. However, without this adjustment, international sales actually increased by 15% to £140.8 million.

Adjusted EBITDA and group adjusted pre-tax profit both experienced a decline, primarily due to the loss of contribution from Russia. Adjusted EBITDA fell to £3.2 million, down from £5.6 million, while group adjusted pre-tax profit dropped to £2.9 million from £5.2 million. Reported pre-tax profit also decreased to £0.8 million from £4 million.

Despite these challenges, Mothercare has made significant progress in reducing its net debt and pension scheme deficit. Net debt has decreased from £13.3 million to £11.6 million compared to the previous year, and the pension scheme deficit has been reduced from £124.6 million to £42 million since the start of the pandemic.

Chairman Clive Whiley expressed his contentment with the company’s performance, highlighting the strong foundations and resilience built in the business over recent years. He emphasized the importance of supporting franchise partners during this challenging period, with a focus on recovering from supply chain disruptions, rebuilding store footfall, and driving digital sales.

Although Mothercare faces obstacles due to the Covid-19 pandemic and global factors, the company remains optimistic about the long-term benefits of its efforts for its own business and franchise partners.

**Useful links:**
1. Mothercare Investor Relations
2. Mothercare Store Locations