French Connection in new profit alert

French Connection, the fashion retailer, has suffered its second profit warning in less than three months after it was hit by weak retail sales over Christmas.

The group said trading in its shops had been "disappointing" in the early part of its autumn and winter season and this had "continued through the Christmas trading period".

This led to lower gross margins, although French Connection said its wholesale deliveries grew in the second half. It expects profits of £4.7m, including a foreign exchange rate gain of £700,000, for the year to 31 January, compared with City forecasts of up to £5.8m.