REPORT_ For the half year ending July 31, 2013, French Connection revenue was 6.4 percent lower than the equivalent period last year. Gross margin for the half year was 47.3 percent compared to 47.7 percent in 2012. Total group operating expenses were 7 percent lower in the period. License income decreased by 15 percent. UK/Europe accounted for 70 percent of group revenue. Revenue in the group’s wholesale business based in Hong Kong was 5 percent of group revenue. In North America the retail division saw a 5 percent decline in revenue in the period. The group’s online business was 20 percent of global retail sales.
Stephen Marks, chairman and CEO of French Connection, said: “We have continued to implement significant changes across the business. This has led to improved margins, ranges and retail disciplines across our UK business. The underlying strength of the business and the significant global awareness of the brand, coupled with the changes we are making, provide the foundations for continued improvement. We have recently launched the winter collections and the reaction has been encouraging.”