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Mothercare Shares Extend Recovery to 94%

Maynard Paton
October 18, 2012

LONDON -- The shares of Mothercare (LSE: MTC.L  ) jumped 6% to 247 pence in early trade this morning after the retailer provided a first-half trading update. The advance extended a recovery that has seen the midcap's shares rally from 127 pence last year to register a 94% capital gain.

Mothercare's update revealed that group sales had contracted by 6% during the 28 weeks to Oct. 13, with international sales up 11% and U.K. sales down 8%. However, the second quarter of the year showed the U.K. division improving on the first, with domestic like-for-like sales turning positive and advancing 0.3%.

Outside the U.K., Mothercare noted that its stores in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa continued to perform "at the top end of ... expectations." The chain also confirmed plans to take the overseas outlet count from 1,098 to 1,178 by the end of the second half. In the U.K., Mothercare shut 31 stores and