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French Connection posts rise in like-for-likes despite no mid-season sale

French Connection has reported that its UK/Europe business performed well in the three months to 30 April 2014 although its US business continued to be impacted by a weak clothing market.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

French Connection posts rise in like-for-likes despite no mid-season sale

French Connection has reported that its UK/Europe business performed well in the three months to 30 April 2014 although its US business continued to be impacted by a weak clothing market.

The fashion retailer said the UK and Europe performance was largely driven by product improvements and was supported by retail operating initiatives.

In line with its strategy to enhance brand equity and reduce the level of discounting, French Connection opted not to hold a mid-season sale in the UK and Europe in April and early May.

Adjusting for the 2013 mid-season sale, like-for-like sales increased by 9.1% on an underlying basis and by 5.6% on a reported basis in the 15 weeks to 10 May 2014. However, like-for-like comparatives got tougher as the retailer moved into the second half of the financial year.

In North America, weakness in the apparel market continued to impact the business both in wholesale and retail. As a result, the business is now forecast to trade below expectations for the remainder of the year.

In the UK, French Connection closed two non-contributing stores during the three month period and plans to close further stores during the year.

French Connection chief executive Stephen Marks said: "I'm pleased to see continued momentum in our performance which demonstrates that we are on the right path. We are also encouraged by the early response to our Winter collection."

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