Global fashion retailer French Connection has reported an improvement in UK trading during the first half of its financial year, according to a trading update published today.
Profits for its H1 period have been confirmed as in-line with management expectations, ahead of full half-year results for the period ending July 2011 which will be made available next month.
According to quarterly results announced in May, UK trading had been disappointing for the retailer at the beginning of the year, with like-for-like (LFL) sales down 1.8 per cent year-on-year in the three months to May 14th, but business now appears to have picked up.
Today’s statement from French Connection read: “The group achieved growth in LFL sales in our UK stores despite the difficult market conditions.
“Net cash at the end of the period was circa £30.5 million which was ahead of our expectations.”
Balance sheet net cash had been hit at the beginning of the year by investments in international franchise stores, with it finishing at £18.5 million in Q1, so this too has rebounded well from a tricky beginning to 2011.
No comment was made on US trading in today’s update but after a decent 1.6 per cent LFL lift in the first quarter and global forward orders appearing to be strong, the company is on course for a decent full-year.
The statement continued: “Our winter 2011 wholesale orders are ahead of last year, so we approach the important winter season with confidence.”