High Street

French Connection losses narrow in H1

Fashion retailer French Connection has reported a reduction in its pre-tax losses for the six month period to 31 July 2019.

Pre-tax losses were at £4.7 million during the period, compared with losses of £15.1 million for the same period last year. 

Group revenue decreased by 12.2% to £51m, as the retailer continue to reduce its store portfolio and a shift in timing of wholesale shipments into the second half of the year. During the period, the retailer closed seven ‘non-contributing stores’ and two outlets closed during the half, with one new store in Central London

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Stephen Marks, chairman and CEO, French Connection, said: “I am pleased that the changes we have made to the business over the last few years continue to move us forward.

“There is no doubt that progress has not been helped by the trading conditions in which we operate in the UK, although our retail performance has been resilient, overall the wholesale business is strong and we continue to see good stability in the licence income.”

He added: “The order books we have provide a clear outlook for the second half of the year in wholesale but it appears that retail conditions will continue to be challenging.  Underpinned by these results we remain fully on track to achieve our expectations for the financial year.”

In October, French Connection began discussions with four potential bidders regarding a sale, which was delayed in June and is expected to take place in the coming months with discussions still ongoing. 

The retailer expects an increase to sales, over the remainder of the year, given the existing winter 19 order books and the “positive reaction” received so far to the summer 20 collections. French Connection also said it is “on track to meet expectations”.

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