Shares in Mothercare surged ahead after the baby goods retailer swung into the black for the half-year.
Stock in the company, which also owns the Early Learning Centre brand, was up more than 8% in morning trading after investors gave the thumbs-up to a £5.5 million pre-tax profit for the group for the 28 weeks to October 11.
The firm’s international retail sales the total generated by overseas franchise and joint venture partners, plus its overseas wholesale operation were 0.5% down at £397.5m for the period, although underlying profits from the division were 0.4% ahead at £25.3m.
However, the firm’s interim results showed its UK operations remain significantly challenged, with a loss of £13.5m for the period.
The outcome was only a marginal improvement on the £14.9m reverse the UK business recorded in the first half last year.
Mothercare completed a £100m rights issue to fund its turnaround plan last month, and has since secured new banking facilities through to May 2018.
The company’s long-term strategy under new chief executive Mark Newton-Jones is to be a digital-led retailer with a smaller shop estate.
It has closed dozens of underperforming UK stores, and more outlets will shut in the months ahead as it streamlines to a core of 110 out-of-town shops and 50 in-town sites from a current total of more than 200 outlets.
Mr Newton-Jones said the company had made progress in the half-year period but its recovery was still to be secured.
“Trading conditions remain challenging, but we are making progress building the foundations for the future of the business in the UK and across our international territories.
“Our vision is clear: to be the leading global retailer for parents and young children.”
Shares closed the day up 10p at 183.25p.