Spiky Steven Marks’ fashion group posts preliminary results on Wednesday – its first news since last November’s update.

Back then, French Connection warned that performance at its retail business had softened in the wake of the banking crisis and voiced caution about prospects.

Panmure Gordon, advising sell, expects a loss for the full year and believes the dividend should be waived.

The broker observed caustically: “French Connection’s brand peaked three years ago and has not recovered sufficiently since to trade profitably through the recession.

“Bulls can point to the cash on the balance sheet, but this could be reduced swiftly by another downturn in trading.”

The broker added: “We believe that the structure of the company is too complex and that it needs simplification. This is partly because of its failure to create a proper international brand, not helped by the sliding brand recognition in the UK.