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French dressing paying off

French Connection has seen business pick up after a strong Christmas period. Picture: Contributed

French Connection has seen business pick up after a strong Christmas period. Picture: Contributed

  • by MARTIN FLANAGAN
 

FASHION retailer French Connection will unveil much reduced annual losses this week following a trading turnaround that was highlighted by a better-than-expected Christmas sales performance.

The group revealed in a trading update last month that UK and European sales and profit margins had recovered in December and January. French Connection had issued three profits warnings in the past two years.

The company said last month that its wholesale retailing order book was also strong. It said the festive boost would help narrow pre-tax losses to about £4.7 million for the year to end-January, compared with losses of £7.2m in the previous year.

Freddie George, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said the retailer had been proved right to abstain from pre-Christmas price discounting.

“The company has made steady progress in implementing its strategy unveiled in September 2012, which involved improving price competitiveness, strengthening the good ranges and improving efficiency in stores,” George said.

French Connection has sold unprofitable shops, changed its management, launched fashion ranges, and improved stock control.

 

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