French Connection group revenues slip 2.4%

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French Connection this morning revealed a 2.4 per cent drop in group revenues for its half year as it continued to battle “tough retail trading” in the UK.

French Connection closed two more underperforming stores in the half year to July 31, as the brand re-iterated its intentions to have just 30 UK stores by the end of the year.

Like for like sales in the UK and Europe dropped 7 per cent reflecting tough trading across the industry.

However, founder Stephen Marks’ strategic investments away from the high street tell a different story: wholesale revenues were up 6.2 per cent while licensing income came in stable at £2.6 million.

Underlying operating loss before taxation was reduced to £5.5 million, down from an operating loss of £5.9 million for the year before.

The business said it was still “on track” to achieve profitability by January, the end of its financial year.

“I am pleased that the changes we have made around the business over the last couple of years continue to move us forward,” Marks said in light of the results on Thursday.

“There is no doubt that progress has not been helped by the trading conditions in which we operate in the UK, although we can take great confidence from the performance of the wholesale business and the stability of the licence income,” he added.

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