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French Connection losses narrow; extends strategic review duration again

By BFN News | 07:30 AM | Tuesday 17 September, 2019

Struggling fashion chain French Connection narrowed its first-half losses as it slashed costs and said it had extended a strategic review process until the end of its financial year. Pre-tax losses for the six months through July amounted to £4.7m, compared to losses of £15.1m on-year. Revenue fell 12% to £51.0m, which the company pinned on store closures and a shift in timing of wholesale shipments into the second half. UK and Europe like-for-like retail and e-commerce sales grew by 1.4%, turning around an on-year fall, which the company said was achieved despite a difficult trading environment. French Connection had already extended a strategic review process, which would consider bids for the entire company, until the timing of its first-half results. On Tuesday, it said it had again extended the process, this time until the end of the financial year. Discussion were still ongoing with 'a number' of interested parties, French Connection said. 'I am pleased that the changes we have made to the business over the last few years continue to move us forward,' chief executive Stephen Marks said. 'There is no doubt that progress has not been helped by the trading conditions in which we operate in the UK, although our retail performance has been resilient, overall the wholesale business is strong and we continue to see good stability in the licence income.' 'The order books we have provide a clear outlook for the second half of the year in wholesale but it appears that retail conditions will continue to be challenging. ' 'Underpinned by these results we remain fully on track to achieve our expectations for the financial year.' Story provided by

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