French Connection shares boosted by sales news

<p>Stocks in the retailer rose 12 per cent yesterday.</p>

The share price of retailer French Connection rose sharply yesterday (April 14th) following the release of the latest financial results by the company.

Stocks in the firm jumped by around 12 per cent on the back of the news its like-for-like sales, which exclude sales from new stores, were up 11 per cent in the 11 weeks to April 12th compared to the figures from a year ago.

French Connection, which has more than 130 stores in the UK and Europe, stated that its "retail initiatives and improved product range" were among the top reasons for the jump in sales.

It was also pointed out by the company that the comparison with the first three months of 2013 was a good one, as that quarter saw like-for-like sales slip by 4.5 per cent compared to 2012.

For the year to the end of January, results released by the firm showed it made an underlying loss of £4.4 million, but this was still an improvement on recent years and was also better than had been expected by analysts.

Improvements

French Connection is currently trying a wide range of measures in a bid to improve its financial position, including a reduction in stock levels, as well as a redesign of product ranges and a review of its prices in an attempt to boost sales.

"I am confident that we are on the right path and have the right strategy to drive further progress," said French Connection chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks, announcing the decision.

Following on from the gains piled up by the company during yesterday's trading session on the London Stock Exchange, the share price of the firm is up again in the early stages of trading.

By 08:28 BST, stocks in the company were 0.34 per cent up on the start of the day, although they had fallen away slightly compared to earlier in the session, when they were around one per cent higher. At 10:34 BST, the increase was back up to a solid 1.32 per cent.

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