French Connection shares boosted by surge in sales

French Connection store

Shares in High Street fashion chain French Connection have jumped almost 12% after the firm reported a sharp increase in sales.

Like-for-like sales, which exclude sales from new stores, rose 11% in the 11 weeks to 12 April from a year ago.

The retailer, which has 131 stores in the UK and Europe, credited its "retail initiatives and improved product range" for the jump.

It has been trying to turn around the business after years of weak sales.

The chain said its performance had benefitted from the comparison with last year when first-half sales fell 4.5%, but said it indicated that the "positive trend" seen in the second half of last year was continuing.

Last year, French Connection said it would reduce stock levels, redesign product ranges and review its prices in an attempt to boost sales.

For the year to the end of January, the chain reported an underlying loss of £4.4m, but this was still better than had been expected.

"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 at the time.

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