Upbeat French Connection tips jump in profits

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French Connection, the fashion group, cheered investors yesterday by forecasting that profits would be ahead of market expectations, following a strong performance at its wholesale and licensing businesses.

The operator of the eponymous high street chain said it now expected pre-tax profits for the year to 31 January to be at least £6.8m, which is comfortably ahead of previous estimates of between £2.6m and £5.1m.

French Connection put this down to the "continuing strong performance in the wholesale division, growth in licensing income and good control of overheads". The fashion chain said its trading performance in the UK was in line with its previous guidance, given in November. Shares in the group rocketed by 15.25p, or 23 per cent, to 84.75p yesterday.