LONDON — Despite erosion in its North American wholesale business, there’s apparently no stopping the momentum at French Connection.

Even with the perilous retail market in the New World taking more than a 40 percent bite out of FC’s wholesale business, the trendy U.K. casualwear company reported Wednesday that profits in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31 rose 37.8 percent to $32.6 million from $23.7 million in 2001. Sales rose 6.8 percent to $385.6 million from $361.1 million. Dollar figures have been converted from the pound at the current exchange rate.

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