French Connection saw its revenues plummet 40.4% year-on-year to £71.5m in the 12 months to 31 January 2021.
The fashion retailer and wholesaler’s underlying losses for the period also expanded to £11.7m, from £2.9m the year before, as Covid-19 caused store closures and a reduction to wholesale demand.
The group claimed that Covid-19’s direct impact on revenues was £39.7m, with wholesale sales cut by £24.2m and retail representing a £15.5m shortfall in sales.
Moreover, French Connection closed the previous period with net funds of £8.1m, but closed the 12 months to 31 January 2021 with a net debt of £1.3m.
Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive at the company, said: “Our key focus for the year has been to navigate our way through the difficult challenges we have faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Trading had been broadly in line with our expectations at the time of the financing but we were then hit by the second and third national lockdowns in the UK.”
Looking ahead, the group claimed it can “provide sufficient current cash requirements” as it aims to capitalise on e-commerce channels.
French Connection’s e-commerce sales grew by 7.1% during the year, almost doubling its percentage of the firm’s retail revenue to 53.8%.
Marks added: “Looking ahead I am pleased that the wholesale business in both the UK and USA has bounced back for the Summer and Winter seasons, even with the continued uncertainty and lockdowns. E-commerce sales are growing with the Summer collection selling very well.”