French Connection steadies the ship as colder weather lifts sales

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The Independent Online

There were signs of stability at French Connection yesterday as it arrested a dramatic sales decline.

The fashion chain said third-quarter revenue was flat on last year, a relief to investors concerned by the 9.5 per cent fall in sales in the first half of the year. That fall translated into a loss for the period of £6.3m.

The improvement is partly a result of "more autumnal weather", which boosted demand for coats and knitwear, the company said.

It began a "strategic review" in September, which it said is "progressing well" despite progress on divesting underperforming stores being "slow" as demand for retail space remains weak.

Jennifer Roebuck rejoined the retailer as multichannel marketing director last month, having left as digital director last December to be marketing director at the fashion retailer Warehouse.

A statement from the company said: "Changes to the way we develop our product ranges have been implemented and these, together with the changes to the design team, have had a positive impact on the autumn 2012 ranges."