Sep 19, 2012
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French Connection faces 'long road to recovery'

Sep 19, 2012

Fashion retailer French Connection Group Plc reported a loss for the first half of the fiscal year as demand in its core British market remained weak.

French Connection

The British retailer, whose eponymous high street clothing chain accounts for over 90 percent of its sales, said it completed a review of its retail business and have implemented several initiatives, including disposal of loss-making stores.

These initiatives will take up to two years before they fully benefit French Connection's results, the company said.

It reported a loss before tax of 6.3 million pounds ($10.24 million) for the six months to July 31, compared with a profit before tax of 700,000 pounds a year earlier.

Revenue fell about 7 percent to 96 million pounds.

Like-for-like sales at its UK/Europe retail division, which accounts for half of the company's revenue, fell 9.5 percent.

"The last six months have continued to be very difficult for French Connection's UK/Europe retail business," Chief Executive Stephen Marks said in a statement.

Many British retailers are finding the going tough as consumers cut back spending in the face of inflation, meagre wage increases, employment fears and government austerity measures.

French Connection's shares, which have fallen 38 percent this year, closed at 25 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

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