French Connection posts £17.4m loss

Wednesday 18 March 2009 12:50

French Connection posted a £17.4m annual loss today as the savage downturn in global shopping took its toll on the high street chain.

"We are preparing for another difficult year," said Stephen Marks, the group's founder and executive chairman who owns 42 per cent of its equity.

Shares in French Connection have lost 30 per cent of their value over the last 12 months.

The stock was down 3.25p at 54p at 8.46am, valuing the business at £51m.

The retailer and wholesaler, which trades in the United States and Asia as well as the UK, said today it made a loss of £17.4m for the year to 31 January.

This compares with a profit of £3.1m in the previous year.

Turnover increased 5 per cent to £248m but costs increased 11 per cent.

The group, which made a profit of £38m just five years ago, has struggled in recent years as the appeal of its FCUK brand has waned, its core markets have deteriorated and costs have risen.

Many UK retailers have been struggling as indebted consumers rein in spending amid soaring unemployment, sliding house prices and fears of a long and deep recession.

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