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French Connection sells Nicole Farhi as losses mount

FRENCH Connection is selling its loss-making Nicole Farhi brand for up to £5m and closing most of its US stores in a bid to return to profit.

The group made a loss of £24.9m in the year ended 31 January – up from £16.4m the year before.

The British fashion retailer, which has already offloaded stores ion Japan and Northern Europe, said it was selling Nicole Farhi to US private equity firm OpenGate Capital.

It will also close 17 US stores, leaving just six across the country.

Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen Marks said: “We have had to make some tough decisions, but (...they leave) us with a continuing business that we expect will be both profitable and cash generative even in the current difficult economic environment.”

French Connection said like-for-like sales at UK and European businesses that are being retained rose 2.8 per cent in the year.