Losses deepen at French Connection after ‘disappointing’ spring collection

Stephen Marks, chairman and CEO of French Connection
Stephen Marks, chairman and CEO of French Connection
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FRENCH Connection said pre-tax losses deepened to £7.9m after the “disappointing” performance of its spring collection.

The high street fashion group said revenues fell 9.8 per cent to £75.8m on reduced retail store portfolio and lower like-for-like sales in the six months ending July 31.

Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive, said: “As anticipated in our April trading update it has been a tough trading period for us and we have responded accordingly to ensure we deliver improvements going forwards.

“We have already closed six stores during the period, with more targeted in the second half.

“We have also made operational and personnel changes to drive improvements in performance, notably in both design and merchandising.

“Improved retail trading especially in recent weeks of our new winter 15 collection, the continued growth of licensing, solid spring 16 forward orders, and tight control of costs, are positive signs.

“We are pleased with the recent change of trajectory in UK/Europe retail performance, particularly given soft trading on the high street in August.

“Trading, however is unpredictable, and we are as ever dependent on the Christmas selling period.”

The group reported a £3.9m loss for the same period last year.