Esprit Holdings’ retail sales in the third quarter were 0.5% compared to minus 4.6% for
the same period last year. This growth was led by positive 2.8% retail comparable store sales increase in Europe. Successful divestment of North American retail operations resulted in a net write-back of approximately HK$700 million.
The company is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange announced the unaudited FY11/12 third quarter update for the nine months ended 31 March 2012. The wholesale business declined to minus 13.1% in local currency during the third quarter (1H FY11/12: -16.7%). The net cash position remained strong and increased to HK$1,618 million (31 December 2011: HK$1,055 million) as at 31 March 2012. Ronald van der Vis, Group CEO of Esprit, commented, “We continue to make good progress with the implementation of our Transformation Plan 2014/15. While we are still at the early stages of our plan, it is very encouraging to see some good results coming through in the third quarter.”
As part of the Transformation Plan 2014/15, Esprit announced the divestment of its loss-making North American retail operations. All retail stores in North America were closed as of 31 March 2012, except one in the United States, which was subsequently closed in April 2012. Due to favorable out-of-court settlements there will be a write-back of provisions, net of related closure expenses, of approximately HK$700 million in the FY11/12 full-year results.
Esprit distributes its products via more than 14,000 wholesale locations internationally, occupying total selling space of over 1.1 million square meters in more than 40 countries. The group operates over 1,000 directly managed retail stores worldwide.