Poor sales pushes French Connection deeper into red

French Connection has reported a pre'tax loss of �7.9 million. Picture: Contributed
French Connection has reported a pre'tax loss of �7.9 million. Picture: Contributed
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Fashion chain French Connection has sunk deeper into the red after a poor sales performance over the spring extended into the following months.

Shares came under pressure as the group reported a pre-tax loss of £7.9 million for the six months to the end of July, compared to a shortfall of £3.9m in the same period a year ago.

The firm had admitted in April that it was struggling. It shut six stores during the six-month period and plans three or four more closures during the second half.

Total revenues were down 9.8 per cent to £75.8m while like-for-like store sales in the UK and Europe slumped by 10.7 per cent.

Founder Stephen Marks, who is chairman and chief executive, said the disappointing performance of its spring collection “continued throughout the season”. Poor sales had “delayed our return to profitability”.

He added: “As anticipated in our April trading update it has been a tough trading period for us and we have responded accordingly to ensure we deliver improvements going forwards.”

Marks said the group had made “operational and personnel changes to drive improvements in performance, notably in both design and merchandising”. He also pointed to improved trading in recent weeks as its winter collection rolls out.