Poor york suki muted

Fashion retailer French Connection – best know for its FCUK logo – reported yet another loss today as its boss Stephen Marks warned that trading on the high street remains tough.The once cool clothes seller – started by Mr Marks in the early 1970s – recorded a narrower loss of £0.8million for the year, compared with a £4.4million deficit for the previous twelve months.Revenue fell 5.8 per cent to £178.5million after sales shed 3 per cent following a poor performance in the second half, which the retailer blamed on the periods unseasonably warm weather.However its wholesale division – which sells its products to retailers in 60 countries around the world – performed markedly better with revenues rising by 4.6 per cent to £75.2million. Wholesale accounts for about 40 per cent of the companys sales. 
Founder: French Connection was founded in the early 1970s by Stephen Marks and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1984Mr Marks, the firms chairman and chief executive said: In spite of difficult retail trading conditions in the second half of the year, these results show that we have made another step towards returning French Connection to profitability.
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The performance of our wholesale and licensing operations were both encouraging, supported by the continued strength of the French Connection brand worldwide. We have also maintained a tight control of costs and have continued to close loss-making stores. Although we are encouraged by forward orders in our wholesale business, trading on the high street remains challenging and we are planning accordingly.
A model in New York wearing part of French Connections summer collection for 2015In reaction to that caution, French Connection shares dropped 14 per cent or 8.5p to 52.5p in mid-morning trading. The London-based company, which has been attempting a turnaround after years of underperformance, is trying to win customers by redesigning product ranges and closing unprofitable stores.Nick Bubb, independent retail analyst, said: Today’s finals show that the French Connection business is still making a loss, because of its troublesome Retail operations, but at least the loss for the year was a bit reduced on the previous year.If the recent weak trend in the BDO weekly Fashion sales figures are any guide (which they are) then we suspect that the new-year has got off to a tough start in the UK, he added.Last year in a bid to spruce up its image, french Connection hired socialite and model Suki Waterhouse, as the face of its White Lies collection.  High street fashion rivals Next and SuperGroup have also been under pressure of late. In December, SuperGroup launched a strategic review of its business after it reported a sharp slide in profits, having appointed former Co-op boss Euan Sutherland as its chief executive. Meanwhile, Next reports full year results this Thursday, with forecasts for profits to rise 11.5 per cent to £775million.However, in October Next warned that it had been hit by the mild autumn weather, which resulted in a lowering of profit expectations as it needed to offload goods at a discount.British retailers have had a tough second half partly due to the mild autumn weather that hit sales of winter fashions. Muted wage growth has also forced consumers to keep spending under control. Recent figures from the British Retail Consortium showed that retail sales disappointed in in February, gaining just 0.2 per cent on the year before, the same rise as recorded for January after a fall in December.Analysts were less than impressed and had expected a better performance given that inflation and interest rates are at record lows. 
Good look: Last year French Connection appointed model Suki Waterhouse as the face of its White Lies collection
 

desperate period troubled classes

Hes the man who is currently setting social media alight every Sunday evening – and whose chiselled abs and Mr Darcy smoulder have won him a legion of female fans.But while Aidan Turner was unknown to many prior to his turn as the troubled Ross Poldark in the BBC drama of the same name, the 31-year-old is no stranger to success.Yet although he may look familiar to some, others might find him hard to place – unless youre a fan of fantasy films and supernatural drama that is.
Turner plays Ross Poldark whos lost his love, Elizabeth (played by Heida Reed, left) to another man
Irish actor Aidan Turner, who plays dashing Captain Ross Poldark, sets pulses racing on the BBC showFor before donning the tricorn hat and brooding scowl of the landowner who returns to Cornwall to find his true love is engaged to another man, Turner was busy fighting evil in Middle Earth.The 5ft 10in Turner was digitally shrunk for his role as Kili, one of two dwarf brothers who set out alongside Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins in a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain in Peter Jacksons Hobbit trilogy.
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But with Martin Freeman playing Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitages brooding dwarf chieftan stealing all the screen thunder, you might have missed Aidans fantastical role – had he not also enjoyed a plotline that involved flirting with Tauriel the elf, played by Evangeline Lilly.
Action stations: From left, John Callen, Dean OGorman, Aidan Turner, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Adam Brown, Jed Brophy, Peter Hambleton, Ken Stott and Stephen Hunter in a scene from The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies film
He became famous as vampire John Mitchell in the BBC3 supernatural housemates dramedy Being HumanBut it seems training to play the warrior dwarf may have helped sculpt the abs that have become famous in their own right.Turner told Empire about the prep needed for the trilogy: A lot of going to the gym; a lot of movement classes. Dwarves are just weighed down by everything, he said.They’re not sluggish, they just have this work-horse mentality. When they get going they’re unstoppable.
Turner even popped up in The Tudors in one episode as a richly-dressed character called Bedoli
As John Schofield, Hattie Jacques lodger and lover, Turner had to don Sixties clothing
Aidan Turner and Dean OGorman as brothers Kili and Fili respectively in a scene from The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneySince graduating from The Gaiety School of Acting in 2004, the Dubliner has enjoyed an eclectic range of parts and notched up a number of award nominations.His career in television began in 2007 when he embraced 16th century-style costume to appear in one episode of the television series The Tudors.More period work was to follow when he was chosen to play pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the six-part BBC series the Desperate Romantics, followed swiftly by appearances as Ruairí McGowan on The Clinic.But Turner finally had a change of pace in 2008 when he was cast as the undead John Mitchell in the supernatural drama Being Human, about a werewolf, vampire and a ghost who share a house.With his hair slicked back, his face deathly pale, an all-black wardrobe and a set of menacing fangs, the actor earned a new army of fans.
Head turner: Russell Tovey (left) as George, Aidan Turner (centre) as Mitchell and Lenora Crichlow as Annie won a legion of fans after starring in the hit Being Human
Aidan Turner (second from right) dons period costume as Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the six-part BBC series the Desperate Romantics alongside (from left) Samuel Barnett as John Millais, Sam Crane as Fred Walters and Rafe Spall as William Holman HuntBut for Hattie, the 2011 TV film about Hattie Jacques life, Aidan returned to period costume again – this time from the Sixties – as the Carry On actresss lodger and lover, opposite Ruth Jones.Now that hes back in breeches for the BBC remake, Aidan is now appealing to a new class of Poldark fans.Not only are hoards of viewers tuning in to see him and learn of Poldarks adventures for the first time, fans from the original 1975 drama are also turning on their television sets to see how Aidans portrayal of the charismatic hero differ. For the first time he may have become the stuff of female fantasy – rather than fantasy films. 
Aidan Turner is setting pulses racing with his portrayal of the troubled Ross Poldark in the new BBC series 
Read more:
The Hobbit Interviews: Aidan Turner On Kili

£million is with £billion

Homeowners with properties worth up to £1million will be able to pass them on to their children tax-free under plans drawn up by George Osborne, it was claimed last night.The Chancellor’s proposal is expected to become a key part of the Tory manifesto, but will not be included in tomorrow’s Budget after it was blocked by the Liberal Democrats.Plans to raise the inheritance threshold to £1million were included in the party’s manifesto at the last election, but were vetoed as part of the Coalition deal in 2010.Scroll down for video 
Passing on properties: The tax break would mean just over 20,000 fewer estates would annually have any inheritance liability. A file photo of a road in Wandsworth, south-west London, is pictured
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According to Treasury papers leaked to The Guardian, the proposed measures would also reduce the inheritance tax bill on properties worth up to £2million by £140,000.The tax break, which would mean just over 20,000 fewer estates would annually have any inheritance liability, is expected to cost nearly £1billion.In the papers, the officials note that the move ‘will generally be very popular with the public and in the media. It will allow you to say you are exempting those with modest homes from inheritance tax (with up to £1million of assets) exempted in certain circumstances.’The document, prepared for Treasury financial secretary David Gauke, added: ‘You have indicated a desire to reduce the burden of inheritance tax.‘Having considered the cost of a substantial increase in the existing nil rate band, you and the Chancellor have indicated you would like instead to introduce a more targeted measure to allow the family home to be passed onto the children of deceased without it leading to an inheritance tax liability.‘This reflects the concern raised by the public about rising house prices increasingly leading to estates with a modest house particularly in London and the South East paying inheritance tax.’
Chancellor: George Osborne’s proposal is expected to become a key part of the Tory manifesto, but will not be included in tomorrow’s Budget after it was blocked by the Lib Dems (file picture of Mr Osborne in 2014)Tories’ £1m inheritance tax giveaway aimed at wealthier households | Money | The Guardian