French Connection share price plunges on profit warning

 
Emma Haslett
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The brand has struggled over recent years (Source: Getty)

Retailer French Connection has suddenly found itself in the bargain bin, after shares plummeted more than 20 per cent in early trading.

The fall came after the brand issued a trading update saying its full-year results are likely to be "materially lower than expected". Ouch.

The brand, which has underperformed fairly consistently since the heady days of its "FCUK" campaign in the mid-90s, said that while wholesale performance was in line with expectations, retailer sales were less than encouraging.

"The current financial performance for the year is now expected to be below the current market expectations," it said. To be fair, figures published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics suggested growth in retail sales had fallen 0.5 per cent in March, well below expectations of a 0.4 per cent rise.

However, that was largely due to petrol sales, which fell by 6.2 per cent. Excluding fuel, growth hit 0.2 per cent - which is, admittedly, pretty anaemic.

Nevertheless, the retailer can't blame all its woes on economic conditions. Last month, it posted figures showing revenues had fallen 5.8 per cent to £178.5m in the year to the end of January.

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