French Connection narrows first-half losses

Fashion retailer French Connection today hinted at a resumption of dividend payments after revealing a sharp fall in losses for the first half.

The group, which has 128 stores across the UK and Europe, posted a pre-tax loss of £3.9 million for the six months to the end of July, compared with £6.1m a year earlier.

The improvement came despite a 6.6 per cent fall in group revenues to £84m, which the firm said reflected planned store closures and exchange rate movements.

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Chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks said: “Whilst costs will continue to be managed tightly, we are cautiously investing in growth opportunities, trialling new store formats and developing our international business.”

No interim dividend was declared, but French Connection said its board would review its payout policy “closely” at the end of the financial year.

The company has not paid a dividend to shareholders since July 2012.