Esprit group revenue has fallen 11.1 per cent. Germany, Esprit’s largest market, accounted for about half of total sales. For the rest of Europe, America and the Middle East, sales fell 9.8 per cent, and in Asia Pacific, which accounts for just 12.3 per cent of total revenue sales fell 15.2 per cent. Offline sales in Asia-Pacific fell 17.1 per cent and online sales fell 5.3 per cent.
Esprit was affected during the year by the rapidly evolving retail industry, fueled by the continuous growth of e-commerce leading to changes in consumer consumption patterns, and the intensification of price competition driven by both pure digital players and fully vertical retailers.
Despite the operating loss, the company remained in a healthy financial position, debt-free and with a net cash balance of 790 million dollars. Some of that cash was used to repurchase about 2.9 per cent of the company’s shares.
The company has warned shareholders of a further drop in sales for the current financial year in the low double-digit percentage range year on year, mainly due to the continuing rationalisation of its distribution footprint and further decline in customer traffic amid Esprit’s execution of a plan to rebuild store visitor numbers.