French Connection reports loss for fifth year running

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Struggling fashion chain French Connection has reported a loss for the fifth year running.

Its pre-tax loss increased to £5.3m last year compared with £3.5m in 2015.

The company, which is under pressure from investors to make top level changes, also said revenue fell 6.7% last year to £153.2m.

Last month, major investor Schroders lost patience and sold its chunk, enabling Sports Direct's Mike Ashley to pick up an 11% stake.

The company was founded in 1972 by Stephen Marks, who is chairman and chief executive at the retailer.

For one person to hold the top two posts at a company is not seen as good management practice.

Another major investor, Gatemore Capital Management, wants those two roles to be split between two people and other changes to be considered, including a possible sale of the business.

Mr Marks said the company's retail business in the UK and Europe had seen "good progress", with sales at stores open for more than a year up 4.4%.

However, it said the business had been "partly held back" by a poorer performance at its wholesale and licensing divisions.


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