• FY pre-tax profit GBP7.3m, versus GBP0.7m
  • Revenue up 2% to GBP205m
  • Warns that economic environment remains “clearly difficult”

Fashion retailer French Connection Group recorded a strong increase in full-year profits for its core operations, but warned of continuing economic difficulties.

Stephen Marks, chairman and chief executive of the UK-based business, said he was “delighted” with the significant improvement to the company’s performance.

“We have achieved a considerably higher profit from the core continuing operations, notwithstanding a period of major change for the group and challenging market conditions,” he added.

“The current economic environment is clearly difficult and it appears likely that it will remain so in the coming year.

“However, I am confident that we have the people, infrastructure, drive and brand strength to build further on the growth we have achieved.”

French Connection posted a group loss of GBP2.4m (US3.9m) for the year to 31 January, substantially down on last year’s loss of GBP24.9m.

Those figures include discontinued operations such as the Nicole Farhi business sold last year, as well as Japanese operations and certain US retail stores.