Retailer Esprit says China market a priority and big opportunity

HONG KONG Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:35am EST

People shop at an Esprit Outlet store in Singapore September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su

People shop at an Esprit Outlet store in Singapore September 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Edgar Su

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Retailer Esprit Holdings Ltd (0330.HK) said on Friday China remains a big opportunity, listing it as a priority over the next two years, even after reporting a drop of 24.5 percent in overall turnover in that market.

The company also said it had hired Bernard Mah, a former executive of Hong Kong-listed Giordano (0709.HK), as managing director. Mah was chairman of Giordano's China operations for 17 years through 2013.

Earlier on Friday, Esprit said it had swung to its first profit in a year after its new chief executive introduced a plan to cut costs and revamp its supply chain.

(Reporting By Clare Baldwin and Downny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Clarence Fernandez)