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French Connection dodges shareholder revolt with return to growth

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French Connection has released its half year results and have reported a return to growth.

Following concerns from shareholders yesterday for the retailer’s boss Stephen Marks to engage in talks about the company’s turnaround, it has reported a 6.5 per cent rise in like-for-like sales.

In the same period last year like-for-like sales had dropped by 10.7 per cent. The return to growth is attributed to a strong performance in its spring collection.

However, due to store closures nationwide total revenue for the group fell by 8.7 per cent to £69.2 million. It also reported the same pre-tax loss of £7.9 million as last year.

RELATED: French Connection boss "not willing" to discuss huge losses

Yesterday key shareholder Gatemore, who owns an eight per cent stake in the company, raised concerns over Marks' dual role in the company, and his unwillingness to meet with shareholders to discuss its poor performance and turnaround plan.

French Connection has not reported an annual pretax profit since 2010, and its stock prices have dropped more than 90 per cent since its heyday in the early 2000s. 

RELATED: French Connection's full-year results hurt by "poor" summer collection

“Although the overall performance for the first half has been disappointing, the retail result has been particularly pleasing when compared to last year in what has been a difficult retail environment," Marks said.

 “There is still much work to do in the rest of the year to move the business forward significantly but we believe the team we have in place and momentum we are seeing will help us to achieve this. 

"As ever, the overall result will be dependent on the Christmas trading period but the second half of the year has started well.”

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Published on Tuesday 20 September by Ben Stevens

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