FRENCH CON­NEC­TION HITS A RIS­ING TREND

Daily Mail - - City & Finance -

SHARES in strug­gling French Con­nec­tion soared 27pc on the back of strong sales of knitwear, denim and sparkly party dresses, and a wind­fall for ditch­ing a high-pro­file shop.

The un­der-pres­sure fash­ion chain said it had sold more full-priced clothes, which had helped im­prove its profit mar­gin, and UK and Europe re­tail sales in the 16 weeks to Novem­ber 21 rose 0.2pc, com­pared with a 6.1pc fall in the same pe­riod a year ago.

The re­tailer also re­ceived £2.4m com­pen­sa­tion from its land­lord in Lon­don’s Re­gent Street af­ter agree­ing to close the loss-mak­ing store as the build­ing is be­ing re­de­vel­oped.

An­a­lysts at stock­bro­ker Nu­mis said: ‘We are en­cour­aged by the im­proved trad­ing trend, ac­cel­er­ated clo­sure of loss-mak­ing stores, and the on­go­ing ev­i­dence that French Con­nec­tion can prof­itably lever­age its strong global brand.’

Stephen Marks, French Con­nec­tion chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: ‘The per­for­mance has im­proved con­sid­er­ably com­pared to the first half of the year.

‘While we still have the all-im­por­tant Christ­mas pe­riod to come, we ex­pect the re­sults for the full year to be in line with mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions.’

Last night, shares closed up 8.12p at 38.5p.

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