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Mothercare lifted by overseas unit

Mothercare, the maternity retailer, again showed the two-sided nature of its business, as international sales put its struggling UK arm in the shade.

Ben Gordon, the chief executive of Mothercare, said that trading conditions were "clearly tough", as it posted a 4.3 per cent fall in UK like-for-like sales over the 15 weeks to 9 July. But overseas, the group delivered a 15.2 per cent leap in total sales, boosted by a series of openings that took it international store count to 900 in the quarter. At its annual meeting yesterday, shareholders backed the group's remuneration report.