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French Connection underlying operating loss rise

Tuesday, 15th March 2016
French Connection Group posts an underlying operating loss of GBP4.7m for the year to the end of January - up from a loss of GBP0.8m in 2015.

The group said this was largely due to the disappointing trading performance during the first half of the year and there was a significant improvement in the second half. Group revenue was 164.2m, down 8.0% on a reduced retail store portfolio, with 13 non-contributing stores closed during the year, and poor LFLs.

Other highlights:

- Composite gross margin of 46.3% (2015: 46.7%) reflecting the higher mix of wholesale sales within Group revenue

- Another very good performance in Licensing with income up to 7.3m (2015: 6.5m)

- Closing net cash of 14.0m (2015: 23.2m) and no debt

- Continued stronger performance in the first 6 weeks of the new financial year

Chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks said: "Overall the performance for the year has been disappointing due to the very poor first half but the improvement we have seen during the second half and into the new financial year shows that we are definitely moving in the right direction.

"The reaction to this year's collections has been strong so far showing that we are on track. We are early in the year and have a considerable amount of work to do to take the Group back to profitability although I believe that the actions we have taken to date will go a long way to taking us there."

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