French Connection sales soften

Trendy clothing retailer French Connection warned that, following a good start to the Autumn/Winter season, sales at its UK/Europe retail business softened in the run up to Christmas.

Trendy clothing retailer French Connection warned that, following a good start to the Autumn/Winter season, sales at its UK/Europe retail business softened in the run up to Christmas.

As a result, UK/Europe retail like-for-like sales in the 24 weeks to January 12th 2013 declined 2.9%. Around 1.9% of the decline related to the group delaying the start of its sale period by one week, it explained.

"We were able to implement a similar delay in sale start date in North America where there has also been some disruption from extreme weather in the period. Overall, the trading in North America was broadly in-line with our expectations," French Connection said in a company statement.

The group noted that January marks an important shipping period for its wholesale businesses as it starts distribution of the new Spring/Summer products in both UK/Europe and North America.

Subject to trading for the rest of this month, the retailer expects to report a loss before tax and exceptional items for the year ending January 31st 2013 in the region of £7.5 to £8m.

The group anticipates closing the year with net cash in the region of £25m.

French Connection said it would provide an update on its improvement initiatives alongside its full year results due in Match and the outlook for the new financial year.

CJ

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