The group said that sales in the early part of the period were weak but there had been a significant improvement since the start of the Easter holidays, particularly in the lead up to the Royal Wedding.
The group's rationalised North America retail business performed well, despite some softness in Canada, with like-for-like revenue up by 1.6% in the period and with margins maintained at the levels achieved in the comparable period last year.
The global wholesale business also did well with deliveries well ahead of last year. The group said that forward orders for the autumn/winter season were also ahead of last year. This had been supported by the continued expansion of the group's international franchise network with stores recently opened in Russia, Jordan and Turkey.
In a statement French Connection said: “Despite the strong growth achieved in the last few weeks, we remain cautious about the UK retail market in the remainder of the year. Nonetheless, we are pleased with the current trading which, together with the strength of our autumn/winter ranges and the good performance of our wholesale and licensing businesses, gives us confidence that we will achieve our objectives for the year.”
Image: French Connection SS11