French Connection’s group revenues fell 6.7% to £153.2m for the year ending 31 January, while UK and Europe retail like-for-like sales grew 4.4% against the previous year.
The group made an underlying operating loss of £3.7m, compared with £4.7m in 2016.
Overall retail revenue was down 4.9% to £87.9m and average space fell 11.7%. The group closed nine non-contributing stores, ending the period with 124 company-operated stores and concessions, and 285 franchised, licensed and joint venture locations.
It has since closed another two stores after the year end and has an additional six stores earmarked for closure this year, to bring the group closer to its target of 30 full-price French Connection stores by January 2019.
Ecommerce sales grew by 12.7% while wholesale revenue was down 9.1%.
Chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks said the group, which includes French Connection, Great Plains, Toast and YMC, has seen an improvement in performance over the financial year, but it has been partly held back by the wholesale and licensing divisions, particularly in the first half of the year.
“The noticeable improvement we have seen during the second half and into the new financial year leads me to believe that we are moving in the right direction,” he said.
“The reaction to this year’s collections has been very strong so far with sales both in our stores and wholesale customers up on last year. It is early in the year and we have a considerable amount of work to do to take the group back to profitability although I believe that the actions we have taken and continue to take, will go a long way to achieving that goal this year.”