- French Connection reported wider annual losses following pandemic-led store closures, but the apparel retailer touted signs of improvement following the reopening of stores.

For the financial year ended 31 January 2021, pre-tax losses widened to £19.7 million from £7.8 million as revenue fell 40.4% to £71.5 million.

Retail revenues slumped 51.8% to £22.5 million, owing to the store closures during 'the three national lockdowns and footfall impacted by restrictions at other times,' the company said.

Wholesale revenues were down 33.1% to £49.0 million.

Gross margins fell to 22.4% from 30.2% impacted by both the loss of the full price selling periods during national lockdowns and higher levels of residual stock at the period end.

Looking ahead, the wholesale business in both the UK and USA had bounced back for the summer and winter seasons, and e-commerce sales were growing with the Summer collection selling 'very well,' the company said.

'With stores having predominantly re-opened in the UK, we are seeing a much better sales performance than we experienced at the end of the first national lockdown although it will take time to see how quickly things develop over the coming months,' it added.

At 9:46am: [LON:FCCN] French Connection Group PLC share price was 0p at 8.08p

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