High-street fashion chain French Connection has warned that full-year profit will be at the lower end of predictions after it suffered a 69 per cent slump in profit during the first half of the year.

Pretax profits fell to £5.1 million during the six-month period ended 31 July from £16.2m the same time last year as same-store sales dropped 9 per cent.

The company attributed the poor results to a troublesome trading environment and said it had "missed opportunities" with its summer lines as well as suffering a slow start to winter business.

``The level of sales achieved at both retail and wholesale was below our expectations,'' French Connection chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks said.