'Difficult winter' sees French Connection profits dive

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The Independent Online

Stephen Marks, the chief executive of French Connection, has begun a review of its UK retail operations after the "most difficult" winter season in 40 years saw it post annual profits down by nearly a third.

French Connection will also introduce its own-label homewares products, including bed linen, pillows and vases, in larger stores and online next month.

Pre-tax profits at French Connection, which has operations in countries from Hong Kong to the US, fell by 32 per cent to £5m over the year to 31 January as turnover rose 5 per cent to £215.4m.

Mr Marks, who founded the retailer in 1972, said: "In the most difficult winter season I have seen in all the years I have been in business, our UK retail division has been very disappointing and this has had a significant effect on our results for the year."