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French Connection announce FD’s surprise departure

Roy Naismith unexpectedly leaves French Connection following difficult trading year

THE LONG-STANDING finance director of French Connection has unexpectedly left the company, following a difficult trading year at the retailer.

In an announcement to the stock market, French Connection said that Roy Naismith, who has served as FD for 12 years, will leave with immediate effect.

Naismith’s departure follows a troubled period at the fashion retailer, which has suffered from declining sales in UK and Europe and posted a £10.5m pre-tax loss for the 12 months to 31 January.

Sources close to the company told the Telegraph that his departure was “amicable” and “mutual”, while Stephen Marks, the founder and chairman, said Naismith had decided to step down after implementing a series of turnaround measures at the company.

“Roy has been a key member of the of the French Connection team for a considerable period of time. He has also been instrumental in providing strategic insight on the implementation of our recent initiatives, which are beginning to show progress,” Marks said.

These measures included the disposal of stores in UK/Europe and North America, an overhaul in the company’s buying patterns and a shake-up of the management team with the appointment of new heads of design, retail, production and marketing.

A search for Naismith’s replacement is underway, and the company expects to make an announcement on this in the near future.

French Connection shares fell 3% following the news.

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