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Sales flat at French Connection

French Connection said that sales in its UK and European retail division were flat in the quarter ended May 17 but warned that wholesale sales remained difficult.

French Connection said that the brand had performed well during the difficulties in the UK and US retail markets. The board said that flat sales and flat like-for-like sales demonstrated a good performance in the context of a difficult market. The company added that French Connection womenswear and its Toast brand had performed particularly well but that menswear remained tough. Margin was in line with last year.

In the UK and European wholesale business, year-on-year growth in deliveries of spring 08 was flat. Orders for autumn 08 are in line with last year but French Connection added that the final outcome on wholesale performance would be determined by the level of in-season ordering.

Wholesale sales in North America are well ahead of last year.

French Connection said that other divisions within the group were trading in line with expectations.

French Connection said in a statement: "Looking forward, the challenging economic conditions which are affecting the retail markets in both the UK and US appear to be continuing and in particular affecting men's wear. We therefore maintain our cautious outlook for the rest of the year, despite the encouraging performance of the French Connection ladies' wear ranges."

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