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French Connection's losses widen

Tuesday March 15th 2016

Fashion retailer French Connection saw its losses widen in the year to 31 January following disappointing first half trading although sales improved in the second half of the year.

The company has reported an underlying operating loss of £4.7 million compared to a loss of £ 0.8 million in the previous year.

Pre-tax losses came in at £3.5 million compared with a loss of £1.6 million in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, group revenue fell by 8% to £164.2 million as the company reduced its retail store portfolio, with 13 non-contributing stores closed during the year.

French Connection said it saw a return to growth in its UK/Europe retail division in the second half of the year with sales up 6% during the full price sales period. The company said the stronger performance continued into the first six weeks of the new financial year.

Stephen Marks, French Connection chairman and chief executive, added: "Overall the performance for the year has been disappointing due to the very poor first half but the improvement we have seen during the second half and into the new financial year shows that we are definitely moving in the right direction.

“The reaction to this year's collections has been strong so far showing that we are on track. We are early in the year and have a considerable amount of work to do to take the Group back to profitability although I believe that the actions we have taken to date will go a long way to taking us there."