May 3, 2018
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Esprit to close all 67 stores in Australia, New Zealand

May 3, 2018

Fashion group Esprit Holdings Ltd said on Thursday it plans to shutter all retail stores in Australia and New Zealand, as the region continues to prove loss-making for the Hong Kong-listed company.


All 67 stores will be affected across the two nations and 350 staff will lose their jobs, said management.

In a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday, Eprit said it had been unprofitable in the local market for some time and had made the decision to quit the market by the end of 2018.

"The group's decision is unfortunate but unavoidable," local director of operations Stehen Newnham said.

On an operations level, Esprit currently boasts 16 retail stores, 13 factory outlets and 38 concession stores inside department store Myer.

Elaborating on the decision, Esprit said the move will save the company HK$200 million in one-off costs from provisions for store closures and the impairment of store assets. 

The cost savings would allow it to focus on other Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Tawain.

In fiscal 2017, Esprit's Australia and New Zealand markets contributed HK$297 million in revenue, less than two percent of its total revenue.

Founded in 1968, the Californian company -- whose headquarters are now in Germany and Hong Kong -- first entered the Australian market in the early 1980s. 

Meanwhile, in its most recent earnings announcement this week, Esprit Holdings said revenue for the nine months, ended March 31, totalled HKS11.8 billion, a decline of 10.9 percent year-over-year.

The company's third-quarter retail sales, excluding online revenues, came to HK$1.4 billion, down 17.1 percent from a year ago.

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