- French Connection returned to underlying profit Tuesday, but continued to grapple with a 'tough' retail environment as like-for-like-sales slipped 6.8%.

For the 12 months ended 31 December, the company reported an underlying pre-tax profit of £0.1m, compared with a loss of a £2.1m loss a year earlier, while revenue increased 0.2% to £135.3m.

Like-for-like sales fell 6.8%, due to the impact of the 'tough' retail trading environment in the UK, the retailer said.

Wholesale revenue rose 10.3% year on year to £76.9m , but retail revenue slumped 10.6% to £58.4m.

Operating losses surged to to £9.3m for the year, from £3.8m a year earlier.

The company decided that there would be no dividend payable for the year.

'I am pleased to report that we have achieved our target of returning the Group to underlying profitability this financial year,' said Stephen Marks, Chairman and Chief Executive. 'This is only part of our overall journey, however it represents a significant achievement given the results over recent years.'

'This has been achieved despite the ongoing difficult retail trading environment in the UK and is the result of the changes we have made in all areas of the business to adapt to the ever evolving markets in which we operate.'

'While we still have a way to go to return the business to an appropriate level of profitability, I believe that we have made and continue to make significant progress. '

At 8:05am: [LON:FCCN] French Connection Group PLC share price was +1.6p at 44p

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