Esprit swings to first annual profit since 2017

Fashion retailer Esprit has reported its first full-year profit in five years under its new management.

In the 12 months to 31 December, the company swung to a net profit of 381 million Hong Kong dollars (43.7 million euros), the first time it has made an annual profit since 2017.

The company’s return to the black came as it reported an increase in revenue to 8.3 billion Hong Kong dollars (953 million euros).

Looking ahead, Esprit said it plans to re-enter key markets in Asia and enter new markets such as South America and Middle America.

It also said it’s set to establish distribution centres in Hong Kong and South Korea, with an aim to open them in the first half of 2022.

Turnaround strategy

Esprit has undergone several operational changes in recent years as its owners tried to turn it around after years of poor trading.

Last year, the company relocated its headquarters back to Hong Kong, and earlier this month it announced a new senior leadership team, including a new chief executive, chief financial officer, chief product officer and chief digital and marketing officer to “shake up” the brand ahead of its international comeback.

Among those new appointments was the confirmation of William Pak as permanent CEO. Pak had taken on the role on an interim basis following the departure of former president and executive director Mark Daley, who exited the company in October 2021 after less than a year in the position.

Daley joined in December 2020 as part of a shake-up that saw the departure of then-CEO Anders Kristiansen, who had been at the helm since 2018, as well as then-chief financial officer Johannes Schmidt-Schultes.

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