FCUK remains in red despite solid showing

Unseasonably warm weather affected sales. Picture: Getty
Unseasonably warm weather affected sales. Picture: Getty
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SHARES in French Connection fell sharply yesterday as investors expressed concern at the pace of turnaround at the fashion retailer.

The chain, which has some 120 stores and concession outlets in the UK and Europe, said like-for-like sales at its UK and European stores slipped 3 per cent in the year to the end of January, due to disappointing second-half trading which included unseasonably warm weather.

Operating losses for the year were cut to £800,000 from 
£4.4 million a year earlier and £7.2m in 2013 as French Connection took another step towards profitability.

However, losses from the retail estate remained high at £11.3m as tough conditions on the high street offset stronger trading in wholesale and licensing channels. Shares fell 11 per cent to 54.38p.

Founder Stephen Marks, who still heads the firm, has closed under-performing stores, grown online business and employed a new design team in a bid to end the run of losses. The group competes against brands such as Reiss, Whistles and Ted Baker.

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