Mothercare CEO Simon Calver to Step Down Post Profit Warning

Mothercare's chief executive officer Simon Calver has announced his shock immediate departure only one month after the British baby products retailer unveiled an annual profit warning.

Although Mothercare did not specify the reasons for Calver's departure, it said that he will receive £250,000 in lieu of his six months' notice period and will leave by the end of March this year.

It also added that "the Board remains confident in the underlying strength of Mothercare and expects results for the year ending March 2014 to be in line with current market forecasts."

Last month, Mothercare shares plunged by nearly 30% at one point after the UK retailer issued an annual profit warning.

Mothercare shares fell to as low as 297.00p after the retailer said that group sales fell 6.1% in the 12 week period to 4 January, compared to the same period the year before as it struggled against the competition lowering prices ahead of Christmas.

"As a result of lower UK sales and margin and the international currency impact, full year profits are likely to be below the current range of market expectations," said Calver, in a statement, at the time.

Mothercare, which operates in 60 countries, highlighted that underlying sales in its British business, where it is in the middle of a turnaround plan, were 4% lower.

The company added that the promotional nature of the festive period and lower seasonal footfall hurt performance.

Analysts originally expected Mothercare to post pre-tax profit of £16m (€19m, $26.24m).