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Woe at French Connection

French Connection issued a profit warning on the back of poor sales in August and October, igniting fears that Christmas may not come up trumps for fashion retailers this year.
The retailer said that for the first 14 weeks of the second half, like-for-like sales at its UK and European retail division fell by 3%.

It added that unless trading picked up on the high street, profits could fall below last year’s £4 million. Analysts had forecast that the retailer would pull in between £5m and £7.5m this year.

The company said in a statement: “While we expect to report a profit for the year, our ability to achieve the same level as last year depends on an improvement in the general retail environment in the UK over the next three months.”

French Connection said like-for-likes at its wholesale business in the UK and Europe had fallen, but added that its forward orders for spring 08 were ahead of last year.

The company added that despite a “volatile period”, its womenswear sales continued to increase on a like-for-like basis.

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