Etam plans revival in UK

International womenswear and lingerie retailer Etam plans to revitalise its UK business after suffering a tough first half in this country.

Parent Etam Developpement said trading was 'difficult' here in the six months to June and it 'will take new measures to relaunch its UK activity'.

All eyes will be on new managing director Nick Paine, who stepped into the role last week from his former position as finance director.

Retail Knowledge Bank director Robert Clark believed Etam UK had failed to move with the times. He said: '(Etam) has lost ground to the likes of H&M, New Look and even George. It's a tall order, especially when you've been on the down rather than the up.'

Last week, Etam Developpement posted a fall in group net sales to EUR511.4 million (£354.7 million) for the six months to June, from EUR530.3 million (£367.7 million) for the comparable period. Pre-tax profit was EUR14.5 million (£10 million), up from EUR12 million (£8.3 million).

UK figures were not revealed. However, former UK managing director Patrick Woodall said Etam's UK turnaround had already begun - UK operations went from pre-tax losses of£27 million in 1998 to a pre-tax profit of£700,000 last year - and has steam left.

Woodall has been promoted to a role working with the French group's president, Jean-Claude Darrouzet, on international projects.