Losses at Mothercare have widened on the back of a drastic restructuring plan, but the company said it will now focus on rebuilding its brand.

Mothercare has reported a loss before tax of £87.3 million for the 53 weeks to March 30.

The retailer said it had completed restructuring ahead of schedule, reducing its UK estate from 134 stores to 79.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: "We have achieved a huge amount this year, refinancing, restructuring and reorganising Mothercare to ensure a sustainable future for the business."

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He added: "The majority of that work is now done, including the completion of our store closure programme, leaving us with 79 stores which are well positioned to support our UK customer base."

Consumers continued to shop in April despite economic uncertainty with record growth seen online, official figures show.

The quantity bought was flat in April, defying analyst expectations of a 0.3 per cent decline, driven by rapid online sales growth, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

In the three months to April, volumes rose by 1.8% compared to the previous three months.

Department stores suffered from store closures since last year, with sales dipping 0.5%, while household goods stores saw a 2.9% decline. But this was offset by growth across several other sectors.

Broadband providers will be given more access to Openreach's telegraph poles and underground tunnels to lay their own high-speed cables, under new plans drawn up by regulator Ofcom.

Officials want to let rival providers use the infrastructure from BT's Openreach network to improve internet speeds and reduce prices for homes and businesses.

They claim the new measures will reduce rollout costs by half their current level.