Fashion group French Connection’s shares rose sharply this week following stakebuilding by Standard Life.

The investor has built up a 7% stake in the retailer, crossing that threshold at the end of last week. As Retail Week went to press French Connection’s valuation was up 30% over the week to £104.8m.

The stake is lower than the 10% held at one point in 2010 by Standard Life but the renewed buying was taken by observers as a sign of the retailer’s improved prospects following restructuring, which included the sale of the Nicole Farhi business and store closures.

At the start of this month French Connection, in which founder Steven Marks retains a substantial stake, reported that profit in the year just ended would be at least £6.8m compared with £1m the previous year.