(Adds analyst comment, details, updates share movement)
By Aastha Agnihotri
April 14 British fashion retailer French
Connection Group Plc reported an 11 percent rise in
like-for-like retail sales as its new product range was well
received in the UK and Europe, sending its shares to their
highest since August 2011.
The London-based company, best known for its FCUK brand of
clothes and accessories, has been trying to turn around its
business after years of sluggish sales by apparel retailers in
"This is the best like-for-like sales we have seen by any
stall-based retailer in recent months," Numis Securities analyst
Andrew Wade told Reuters.
French Connection said on Monday that comparable sales in
the 11 weeks to April 12 continued the positive trend from the
second half of last year.
The company, whose competitors include SuperGroup
and Ted Baker, had reported a 1.4 percent jump in
like-for-like sales in UK and Europe for the second half of
fiscal year ended Jan. 31, recovering from a 4.5 percent drop in
the first half.
"We remain confident in the global appeal of the brand and
the self-help steps being taken and, despite the strong run in
the shares, we retain our positive stance," Wade added.
French Connection announced plans last year to reduce
inventory levels, redesign product ranges and increase the
flexibility of its buying teams as well as reviewing pricing as
part of a plan to restore the fortunes of its retail division.
Along with the French Connection brand - which accounts for
almost 90 percent of its revenue - the company operates
wholesale-only ladies-wear range Great Plains, e-commerce
fashion and homewares brand Toast and men's and women's wear
Shares in the company were up 11.57 percent at 74.38 pence
at 1109 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. They touched a high of
77 pence in early trading in a weak broader market.
(Reporting by Aastha Agnihotri in Bangalore; Editing by