Esprit closed the first half of the year with a profit, even though it was considerably lower than a year earlier. Nevertheless, the fashion chain is once again resolutely going for expansion and heavy investments.
Lower sales and profit
After a few difficult years, Esprit has returned to profit for the second year in a row. Turnover, however, fell in the first half of the year by 6 % to 3.62 billion Hong Kong dollars (460 million euros) due to the weak euro. Without exchange rate effects, turnover was 2 % higher. Also due to a slightly lower gross margin and exchange rate effects, the profit of 13 million dollars (1.6 million euros) was ultimately considerably lower than a year earlier.
Nevertheless, Esprit unequivocally states that the company is back on the path of sustainable growth – and that it wants to regain market leadership. CEO Pak William Eui Won says that the fashion brand – despite the challenging first half of the year – continues to show positive results and profitable growth, which form a solid basis for expansion into new markets. The company also wants to continue to invest as new opportunities arise, FashionNetwork reports.
Innovation hub in Amsterdam
These investments are already well underway: among other things, the company will establish an innovation hub (Esprit Futura) in Amsterdam, launch online platforms in North, Central and South America, and return to Asia. To improve the brand’s image, the label wants to enter into collaborations with designers, influencers, other brands and events. The European website also needs to improve.
“Esprit’s return to Hong Kong and Asia is part of its strategies to reposition itself as a ubiquitous international brand that is close to its customers”, the CEO said. “Combined with improvements to Esprit’s product offering, marketing and digital content, the aim is to get the company back on track to regain market share and ensure sustained sustainable growth.”