Clothing retailer French Connection crushed hopes of salvaging lost profits after being forced to extend its summer sale to shift surplus stock.
And a senior executive yesterday dismissed investor concerns about the durability of the troubled fashion group's brand.
Some pundits have suggested the retailer and wholesaler's brand, and particularly its controversial FCUK logo, has had its day.
A spokesman for French Connection said there was no intention to ditch the moniker which analysts believe has become tired in the eyes of customers.
Neil Williams, operations director, said the group's management remained "very positive" about the brand.
"The key thing for us is having the right product in the stores," he said, pointing to improvements in the winter ranges and an encouraging press and consumer reaction to these.
"The brand is to a great extent a reflection of the strength of the product and we're very happy with the product we have in the stores at the moment."
Mr Williams also rebuffed the suggestion that French Connection's basic garments, such as plain T-shirts with the FCUK logo, are just too expensive.
"We're happy with where our price points are," he said.
French Connectionnect ion conceded it was unlikely to earn much more than £20 million this year - at the lower end of guidance given in July when the company warned on profits for the second time in eight months.
It follows a nine per cent drop in like-for-like sales in the UK and Europe during the six months to July 31 which reflected "missed opportunities within our collections", the group said.
Profits for the period were also lower, down at £ 5 . 1 million against £16.2 million a year earlier, the company revealed. Revenues totalled £117.9 million - down from £128.2 million at the same stage of last year.
French Connection has reacted by introducing new ranges mid-season in an effort to bring shoppers back, but a late pick-up in sales could not clear a glut of old stock.
As a result, it was forced to delay the winter ranges by staying on sale for longer - a move that put margins under fresh pressure.
But it flagged "encouraging signs" that its winter ranges were back in step with high street fashion in the UK and Europe. That helped lift shares by six per cent, following a sharp fall in recent months.
Meanwhile, problems have continued to stack up in its wholesale business where retail customers have been scared by the tough trading conditions and lack of interest from shoppers.
Orders for this winter and next summer are 15 per cent below the levels seen last year.