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LONDON — Losses in the first half at French Connection Group plc increased to 11 million pounds, or $16.8 million, from 3 million pounds, or $4.6 million, as the high-street retailer and wholesaler continues to trim overhead and jettison loss-making businesses.

This story first appeared in the September 18, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company said Thursday revenue in the six months to July 31 grew 4 percent to 116.9 million pounds, or $178.3 million, from 112.4 million pounds, or $171.5 million, thanks to the consolidation of the Japanese business and store openings in the U.K. and Europe. Dollar figures have been calculated at average exchange rates.

Despite those gains, chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Marks said the business “continues to be severely affected by difficult retail environments in all of our markets around the world.”

French Connection, he said, has been undergoing a strategic review, which has resulted in the closure of its Northern European retail operations and layoffs in head office during the first half.

He told WWD he expects a better performance in the second half, although he added he does not expect the economy to recover any time soon.

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