Slump in UK hurts French Connection

 
Kasmira Jefford
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FRENCH CONNECTION said yesterday it was launching a review of its UK operations after a disappointing performance caused profits to slide by 32 per cent in 2011.

The group, whose eponymous brand accounts for over 90 per cent of its revenue, reported pre-tax profits of £5m in the year to the end of January, in line with expectations after a profit warning in November last year.

Chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks, who founded the company in 1977, said after experiencing “the most difficult” winter season in all his years in the business, French Connection would be reviewing its operations “to improve sales and margins.”

“We are very aware that there will be no quick solutions and that changes we make will take time to have an impact.”

Marks, however, was more upbeat about the group’s international operations and said it would look to expand overseas this year and open more stores in China, Hong Kong and India.