Presentation for the 6 months to 31 July 2015 (pdf)
Interim results for the 6 month period ended 31 July 2015 (pdf)
French Connection Group PLC
Interim Results for the 6 month period ended 31 July 2015
French Connection Group PLC ("French Connection", "the Group") today announces results for the 6 month period ended 31 July 2015.
- Loss before taxation of £(7.9)m (2014: £(3.9)m) due to the disappointing performance of the Spring 15 collection as forecast in the April trading update
- Group revenue of £75.8m, down 9.8% on reduced retail store portfolio and lower LFLs
- Store closure plan continued with 6 non-contributing stores already closed during the period
- UK/Europe retail LFLs of -10.7% against stronger comparative LFLs (2014: +6.0%)
- Wholesale revenue lower by -2.6% within which UK/Europe +4.7%
- Costs reduced again with underlying operating expenses 1.4% lower than prior year
- Another good performance in Licensing with year-on-year growth of 3.4%
- Closing net cash of £15.0m (2014: £19.4m), no debt, and inventory levels controlled (-3.4%)
- Retail trading over the first 6 weeks of the second half has been stronger; UK/Europe LFLs flat, within that full price LFLs around +6.0% with improved gross margins against the prior year
Commenting on the results, Stephen Marks, Chairman and Chief Executive said:
"As anticipated in our April trading update it has been a tough trading period for us and we have responded accordingly to ensure we deliver improvements going forwards.
We have already closed 6 stores during the period, with more targeted in the second half. We have also made operational and personnel changes to drive improvements in performance, notably in both design and merchandising.
Improved retail trading especially in recent weeks of our new Winter 15 collection, the continued growth of licensing, solid Spring 16 forward orders, and tight control of costs, are positive signs.
We are pleased with the recent change of trajectory in UK/Europe retail performance, particularly given soft trading on the High Street in August. Trading, however is unpredictable, and we are as ever dependent on the Christmas selling period."
Adam Castleton/Neil Williams French Connection +44(0)20 7036 7063
Tom Buchanan/Charlotte Church Tulchan Communications +44(0)20 7353 4200