- Fashion retailer French Connection narrowed first half losses as a jump in revenue boosted performance.

For the six-month period ending 31 July 2021, pre-tax losses were £0.9 million, narrowed than £12.2 million a year earlier, and £3.6 million in the pre-pandemic period of 2019.

Revenue was up 68.2% to £40.2 million year-on-year, but down 21.2% from the same period in 2019, due to the 'reduced retail portfolio and temporary COVID-19 store closures, offset by increased wholesale and e-commerce contribution,' the company said.

Gross margin slipped to 31.6% from 42.7% in 2019 owing to a mix shift towards 'lower margin wholesale channel and the level of fixed product development and logistic costs on the lower overall volumes,' it added.

Looking ahead, the company said it concluded that the 30 pence per share takeover offer made by MIP Holdings Ltd was 'fair and reasonable and recommends that all shareholders accept.'

'Following completion of the transaction, I will retire from French Connection, said Stephen Marks, chief executive and chairman of French Connection.

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