French Connection warns of poor performance in ‘challenging’ market

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Fashion brand French Connection has warned investors its half-year results will miss market expectations.

The retailer said it had faced “challenging” conditions from its end-of-year results throughout the Easter period.

Its first half retail sales, due to report later this year, are likely to be “materially lower than expected”, it said.

Wholesale performance was in line with projections, with forward orders up year-on-year and strong performance in licensing.

However, it warned financial performance for the year would be “below the current market expectations”.

The company said cash held was down more than £2m on 2014 to £9.9m with no debt. Stock levels were also down seven per cent in March compared to last year.

The trading update added: “We have been putting in place many improvements across the business in the last two years and will continue to implement positive change across the group.

“We continue to execute our store closure plan and we now expect to close seven stores during the current year.”