Big freeze hits Mothercare profits

Retailer Mothercare today warned it will miss profit hopes after the big freeze prevented shoppers reaching its out-of-town stores.

The chain, which has 377 UK stores, said toy sales were particularly affected as December's Arctic blast wiped an estimated 4% off its UK sales figure for the final quarter of 2010.

UK like-for-like sales excluding VAT were down 5.8% in the 12 weeks to January 1, which led the retailer to warn that profits for the year to April were likely to be less than the City's expectations of 41 million.

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