Esprit shares to open up 4.2 pct on first half "slight profit"

HONG KONG Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:31pm EST

HONG KONG Jan 23 (Reuters) - Esprit shares were set to open up 4.2 percent on Thursday after the company said it expects to make a "slight profit" in the six months ending in June 2014, the result of substantial cost cuts.

The fast fashion retailer warned that, despite a better outlook for the first half of the year, its performance for the full financial year remained "uncertain".

Gains for Esprit shares on Thursday took them to their highest in nearly two weeks and came against a flat opening for the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Esprit Holdings' chief, Jose Manuel Martinez Gutierrez, hired in 2012, is doubling down on a bet to fix the struggling clothing retailer, which he is revamping and recreating in the image of his former employer-now-rival, Zara. (Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Paul Tait)