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French Connection sales rise 11%

Fashion chain French Connection posted a big jump in sales today amid more evidence that its recovery efforts are starting to pay off.

The group, which has 131 stores and concession outlets in the UK and Europe, said comparable sales were 11% higher in the 11 weeks to last weekend.

It is the latest boost for founder and chairman Stephen Marks, who is leading the group's bid to return to the black following a period of losses in the UK.

Shares jumped by 12% to leave the stock at its highest level since late 2011.

Mr Marks recently said the group was on the "right path" after benefiting from the input of a new design team, while its online business has grown and underperforming stores closed.

In a brief update today, the company said it was continuing "the positive trend" as its retail initiatives and improved product ranges gain traction.

Year-on-year sales comparisons are currently helpful but French Connection said these will toughen as the financial year progresses.

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