Poor Christmas trade at French Connection UK

City A.M. Reporter
SHARES in fashion retailer French Connection were hit yesterday after it warned of a larger-than-expected loss as Christmas sales were hurt by lower demand and a decision to delay discounting.

French Connection said it expected an adjusted pre-tax loss of £7.5m to £8m for the year to 31 January, much larger than the £5.47m analysts were expecting.

The retailer, which outlined a strategy in September to boost sales that included selling loss-making stores, had previously forecast a loss for the year against a pre-tax profit of £5m last year.

The group said it delayed discounting over the Christmas period by a week in a bid to build brand equity.

As a result, like-for-like sales in the UK and Europe fell about 2.9 per cent in the 24 weeks to 12 January.