Shares in Mothercare, which has a branch at Newport's Friars Walk, tanked on Monday as the baby retailer warned over profits following a festive sales plunge, with consumer spending falling in both stores and online.

In an unscheduled trading update, the group said UK like-for-like sales plummeted 7.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to December 30, while online sales tumbled 6.9 per cent.

As a result, Mothercare now expects adjusted group profit for the year is likely to be in the range of £1m to £5m.

This is down from previous estimates of around £10m.

Shares dived following the news, crashing more than 24 per cent to 47p in mid-morning trade.

Chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: "As we signalled in November, there has been a softening in the UK market with lower footfall and website traffic resulting in lower spend in both stores and online. This trend has continued.

"We are not anticipating any improvement in the short-term market conditions for the UK."

Retailers have been hammered by weak consumer confidence off the back of soaring inflation, which has hit 3.1 per cent following the collapse in the pound after the Brexit vote.

Total UK sales also fell 11 per cent over the period, reflecting a store closure programme linked to a turnaround plan. In the year to date, sales are down 4.5 per cent in the UK.