Esprit flags return to profitability, adds to leadership team
Esprit had good news this week as it announced in a stock exchange filing that its preliminary results for 2021 show it’s expected to record a net profit. It will make around HK$370 million (€43m/£36m/US$47m) for the year compared with a net loss of around HK$414 million for the six-months ended 31 December 2020.
While the two periods aren't directly comparable due to the company adjusting the dates of its financial year, it will nonetheless be the first year of profit since the 12 months ended 30 June 2017.
The company said the turnaround is mainly attributable to a basket of factors. They include the improvement in sales, with higher gross profit margin, and the implementation of efficient cost control measures. It has also been helped by improved inventory management and growth in its e-commerce channel.
The company is still finalising its figures and will publish its fully audited data on March 29.
But it's a great sign for the group that – as those losses over several years show – had endured a torrid time both before and during the pandemic.
Yet it seems to be brimming with confidence at present and having announced its interim CEO moving to the role permanently at the start of this month, this week it has also unveiled its finalised leadership team line-up.
While most of the team members have been in place for a while, new to the line-up is Larry Luk as Chief Digital and Marketing Officer. He held prior senior marketing positions at L’Oréal and Calvin Klein.
We reported earlier this month that William Pak will continue to lead the firm as CEO on a permanent basis after having held the interim CEO’s title for several months.
He’s working with industry veteran Brian Wong as CFO, Sang Langill as Chief Product Officer, and longer-term member of the leadership team Leif Erichson, who’s President Europe.
The company said that the refreshed leadership team in the past year has seen the firm undergoing a number of operational changes and the board “is confident in their capabilities in reinvigorating Esprit’s return to the Asia market, including an ambitious e-commerce expansion”.
William Pak said: “We have now laid the foundation to breathe new life into our brand. Under our new collective vision, the team will tap into our wealth of experience as we journey into a new era of growth. We are going full speed ahead with our highly-anticipated comeback.”
The business said that the elite group will now “kick-off a multi-dimensional business strategy, where products and experiences will be reinvigorated and delivered through a new omni-channel ecosystem introducing more touchpoints. This sets the brand on an exciting course aimed at building long-term relationships with customers that inspire and foster community, while remaining conscious and committed to the impact on society and the planet”.
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