Wholesale revenue growth bolsters sales for French Connection
In its interim management statement covering the fifteen week period from 1 August 2010 to 13 November 2010, the Group says that during this period the business as a whole has performed in-line with expectations.
Retail revenue has been slightly lower than expected but this has been more than offset by further growth in wholesale revenue, gains in gross margins and additional overhead savings.
Wholesale forward orders for the Summer 2011 ranges are well ahead of last year and this will boost revenue towards the end of the financial year. While the Christmas trading period remains key to the outcome of the retail businesses for the full year, based on their performance to date and their strong wholesale forward orders, they expect that the full year profit before tax for the continuing businesses will be at the high end of current market expectations.
Revenue in the UK/Europe retail division (accounting for 55% of Group revenue) fell by 7.7% overall and 6.1% on a like-for-like basis.
Revenue in the wholesale business in UK/Europe (accounting for 17% of Group revenue) was well ahead of the level seen last year, with a 13% increase. The gross margin continues to show an improvement over the levels achieved last year and so the trading result is well ahead.
The retail stores in North America which the company intends to retain for the longer term (accounting for 11% of Group revenue) have continued to perform in-line with the first half of the year and have experienced a decrease in like-for-like revenues of 4.0% but an increased gross margin. North America wholesale business (accounting for 9% of Group revenue) has achieved revenue broadly level with last year in Dollar terms so far in the second half.
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