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Esprit sales down 11 per cent

For the three months to March 31, Esprit sales were down 11.6 per cent in local currency on the same period a year earlier. However, it marks an improvement on the 12.4 per cent reduction in retail space occupied by the fashion brand.

While the quarter recorded a revenue decline, the rate of decline continues to narrow quarter-on-quarter, reflecting a positive trend of improvement. During the first quarter to September 30, sales declined 16.2 per cent, in the next quarter by 12.5 per cent and now to 11.6 per cent. The improvement was mainly driven by Germany which accounts for the largest share of the group’s sales. For Asia Pacific, the higher rate of revenue decline in the second quarter and third quarter was mainly due to the group exiting Australia and New Zealand, where all stores were closed by the end of last September as part of Esprit’s restructure.

The closure of loss-making stores will exert pressure on the company’s topline in the short term, and as other initiatives are still work-in-progress at this stage, it will require time to make the corresponding improvements in brand and product visible to customers for attracting them back into Esprit stores.