HONG KONG Jan 23 Esprit Holdings Ltd
said it expects to return to profit in the first half of the
business year as efforts to cut costs kick in, sending its
shares 4 percent higher.
Chief Executive Jose Manuel Martinez Gutierrez, who joined
Esprit from rival Zara in 2012, has been fighting to fix the
unprofitable retailer, revamping its existing business model to
match Zara's successful fast fashion model.
But the struggling clothing retailer said the profit would
be slight and warned that the second half of the year is
typically weaker than the first half. It did not specify the
likely amount of the first-half profit, which compares with a
loss of $60 million for the same period a year earlier.
Martinez has stacked his management team with other Zara
veterans and unveiled technology and distribution upgrades that
will halve the time it takes to get clothes designed,
manufactured and in stores.
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.
(Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)