Mothercare's shares slump by 30% after profits warning

Shares in Mothercare have slumped by 30% as it issued an unexpected profits warning following a tough Christmas season. But Sainsbury's and Waitrose have said they have enjoyed their strongest ever festive periods.

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Mothercare shares plunge by 30% after Christmas

Shares in Mothercare fell by 30% today after the chain fell victim to fierce Christmas price wars.

Shares in Mothercare slumped today. Credit: PA

Shares in the babycare products chain sank 126p to 294p after confidence in its turnaround plan was hit by today's profits warning.

Mothercare blamed a 9.9% plunge in UK sales on the "highly promotional" nature of the Christmas period and lower footfall.

Read: How tough times have changed our shopping habits

Sainsbury's posts busiest ever trading Christmas run-up

Sainsbury's enjoyed its busiest trading week ever in the run-up to Christmas, helping like-for-like sales in its latest quarter climb by 0.2%.

A shopper choosing Champagne over the festive period. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Chief executive Justin King said the 14 weeks to January 4 had been a "very tough sales environment" but the supermarket managed to maintain its record of growth - after it was forecast to fall after 35 successive periods of expansion.

Mr King said the seven days prior to Christmas was the group's busiest ever trading week, with more than 28 million transactions.

Surge in online groceries shopping for Waitrose

Waitrose said the strong trading period was driven by growth in online groceries sales, which rose by more than a third in the five weeks to Christmas Eve compared with the same period in 2012.

Online groceries drove the strong trading
Online groceries drove the strong trading Credit: Matthew Baker/PA Wire

It said that 619,000 people used their click and collect service in the same five-week period.

Read: Waitrose hails most successful Christmas on record

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