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French connection boss hits out at upward only rent reviews

French Connection chief executive Stephen Marks has hit out at upward only rent reviews, asking the government to review the law.

Marks made the comments on Wednesday as French Connection’s UK and Europe retail arm posted a £1.6m loss in the year to January  31.

Marks told the Independent:  “One minute a store is profitable, the next it is not. I actually think it is something the government should look at and if you asked every retailer in the country they would say the same.”

Many retailers have blasted the system as archaic. Last year the Irish government banned upward-only rent reviews for all new leases signed after February 28, 2010, but retailers are still pushing for the change to apply to existing leases as they continued to struggle with their rent bills.

French Connection retail revenues in the UK and Europe, where French Connection has 72 stores and 43 concessions, dropped by 3% to £110.8m in the year to January 31, a 1.4% like-for-like drop.

Group pre-tax profits at the group’s core continuing operations climbed to £7.3m in the year to January 31 from £0.7m the year before helped by its improved wholesale performance and better margins.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Martin Ailion

    Ridiculous rents have been killing the high streets for years. You only have to look at all the empty units. Landlords should get real.

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