French Connection 'moving in right direction' despite full year loss
French Connection has said it is moving in the right direction as it posted a 4.4% increase in like-for-like retail sales in the UK and Europe in the year to 31 January 2017.
The fashion retailer also saw its losses narrow after it made an underlying operating loss of £3.7 million in the year compared to a loss of £4.7 million in the previous period.
Group revenue was down 6.7% to £153.2 million in the period while retail revenue fell by 4.9% to £87.9 million following an average space reduction of 11.7% which included the closure of nine non-contributing stores.
The company said its performance had been partly held back by its wholesale and licensing divisions particularly in the first half of the year.
Ecommerce sales grew by 12.7% and now represent 27.3% of retail revenue.
Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive of French Connection, said: "The noticeable improvement we have seen during the second half and into the new financial year leads me to believe that we are moving in the right direction.
“The reaction to this year's collections has been very strong so far with sales both in our stores and wholesale customers up on last year. It is early in the year and we have a considerable amount of work to do to take the group back to profitability although I believe that the actions we have taken and continue to take, will go a long way to achieving that goal this year."
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