British maternity and childrenswear specialist Mothercare has named Daniel Le Vesconte as its new chief executive as its profits slumped in its most recent half-year results.
The company’s profit narrowed to 0.4 million pounds in the six months to September 25, down from 3.6 million pounds a year earlier.
That came as international retail sales by franchise partners dropped 12 percent to 162.1 million pounds, with the company citing the impact of lost sales in Russia.
Mothercare announced in March that it had halted operations in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian market represented 20 to 25 percent of its retail sales at the time.
Excluding lost sales from Russia, international retail sales by franchise partners for the most recent six-month period increased 15 percent year-on-year.
Chair Clive Whiley hailed the company’s ability to remain in the black despite “the impact of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine”.
New CEO at Mothercare
Whiley also announced the appointment of Daniel Le Vesconte as the group’s new CEO.
Le Vesconte joins from Abercrombie and Fitch, where he served as global vice president of the company’s EMEA business, and earlier held senior roles at British bootmaker Dr Martens and Vans owner VF Corporation.
“[Le Vesconte's] extensive experience in the retail direct-to-consumer, wholesale and licensing sector will be a great asset to the team and me as we focus upon restoring critical mass and driving the Mothercare brand globally over the next five years,” Whiley said.
Le Vesconte commented: “I am very excited to be part of the Mothercare team and look forward to working with our global stakeholders to spearhead the growth of the iconic Mothercare brand into the next generation.”
He takes on the top job at a pivotal time at Mothercare, which underwent a major restructuring in recent years only to then be hit hard by the pandemic.
The company put its UK business into administration in 2019, which saw it close all 79 of its stores and reposition itself as a global franchising business.
Looking ahead, Mothercare said its medium-term guidance for its franchise operations remains that it is capable of exceeding 10 million pounds of operating profit.