The City reacted coolly to French Connection’s interim management statement last week, which showed that the retailer improved margins but that like-for-like sales fell.
Investec analyst Natalia Marisova said French Connection delivered a better than expected operating performance in the 14 weeks to May 14 off the back of strengthened margins, due to a reduction in markdown, and despite a 1.9% fall in UK like-for-likes. But she remained cautious on the sustainability of the gross margin improvements, given the weakness of the pound, and added that the softer performance from womenswear might continue, due to “weaker” spring ranges.
Ambrian analyst Philip Dorgan recommended hold and said the company’s wholesale operation was performing well. He added that it was in the “early stages of recovery” and he “wouldn’t read too much into a few week’s trading”.