As one CEO warns that the grocery market remains tough, another cites the same for the high street. This morning’s results from French Connection weren’t the most fashionable, but the British clothing retailer has managed to substantially narrow full year losses.
FCUK reported an £800,000 underlying operating loss for the year ending January 31, a substantially better comparison to the £4.4m loss it posted in 2014. In an attempt to bring customers back round, the fashion retailer has been closing unprofitable stores and redesigning product ranges. It saw like-for-like sales across the UK and Europe fall 3% during the year, blaming, as several other apparel retailers have recently, unseasonably warm weather for a poor performance in its second half.
The company has, however, succeeded in boosting its wholesale revenues, by 4.6%. Stephen Marks, both Chairman and Chief Executive for French Connection commented:
“In spite of difficult retail trading conditions in the second half of the year, these results show that we have made another step towards returning French Connection to profitability.
The performance of our wholesale and licensing operations were both encouraging, supported by the continued strength of the French Connection brand worldwide. We have also maintained a tight control of costs and have continued to close loss-making stores.
Although we are encouraged by forward orders in our wholesale business, trading on the high street remains challenging and we are planning accordingly.”