Trading at UK-based fashion retailer French Connection improved during the company’s third quarter amid “inconsistent” market conditions, the company said.

Like-for-like UK and European sales in the third quarter were flat – an improvement on the 9.5% decline reported in the first half of the financial year.

“Revenue has reflected the more autumnal weather in comparison to last year and sales of coats and knitwear have been much improved,” said French Connection, adding that gross margins were similar to last year.

Meanwhile, UK/Europe wholesale revenues continued to show declines thanks to lower forward orders and reduced in-season business, the company said.

North America retail was broadly flat, but wholesale continued recent growth and overall trading was ahead of last year.

However, joint ventures in Asia showed profits down slightly on last year, reflecting the retail slowdown in Hong Kong and China, French Connection said.