French Connection today announced its interim results for the six month period up until July 31st 2012 and outlines the initiatives implemented in order to improve the performance of the retail business.

French Connection have identified that the difficult UK/Europe retail business has consequently impacted the Group results for this period. The company have suffered a 7% revenue decrease, from ₤102.8 million in 2011 to ₤96 million this year. However, the company are looking forward and the operational focus of the initiatives focuses on improving their store operations, developing their product range and improving merchandise management. In addition, they have strengthened their senior management team and will continue to target the disposal of loss making stores.

Stephen Marks, Chairman and Chief Executive of French Connection expressed his recognition that the route to sustained recovery is likely to take some time, but the company is committed and confident that their actions will produce a growing positive impact for their trading performance over the next two financial years.

Wholesale revenue in the UK/Europe division was 11% lower in this period and this performance reflects the difficult market conditions and challenges to the retail business. However, the period was ended with a strong balance sheet of ₤21.2 million net cash, no bank debt and a significant growth in French Connection’s e-commerce business. Furthermore, North America achieved a 28% increase in revenue and saw strong performances in new stores across the rest of the world.

French Connection is not expecting any immediate improvement in the UK retail trading and the route to sustained recovery is likely to take time. Nevertheless, Stephan Marks said, ‘We are committed to building on French Connection’s core strengths; our highly recognised and well-regarded brand, our long history of producing desirable, fashion forward products, our proven sourcing ability and, of course, the commitment and passion of our staff, whom I thank for their continuing hard work.’