French Connection revenues up 7%
Fashion retailer French Connection saw revenues grow by 7% to £102.8 million in the six months to 31 July. Pre-tax profit increased to £0.7 million from £0.2 million in the same period in 2010.
French Connection said the growth had been driven by a positive reaction from shoppers to its end of season sale as well as business growth overseas. The retailer plans to open up to 25 more stores in China under its Joint Venture with additional stores to be opened by its franchisees in Russia, India and Turkey.
Commenting on this announcement, Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive of French Connection said: "I am happy to report that, in tough retail trading conditions, we achieved growth in like-for-like retail sales and a substantial increase in both wholesale and licensing income. We are reporting a profit after tax in the first half of the financial year for the first time since 2008 and we are firmly back on a growth path.
"With the business on a stronger footing, we are in a good position to expand operations internationally. We see great opportunities to grow revenues from both franchising and licensing.
"The balance sheet remains very strong with £30.9 million of cash and no debt. The 20% increase in interim dividend reflects the Group's profitability and cash generation and the Board's confidence in the future.
"We do not anticipate any easing in the retail environment during the second half of the year. However we have a proven ability to produce high quality and desirable ranges and with good increases in wholesale forward orders to support this, we remain confident in achieving our expectations for the full year."
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