Esprit Holdings Limited has announced its annual results as well as those of its subsidiaries for the fiscal year that came to an end on June 30, 2012. The company launched its four-year Transformation Plan in September 2011 in order to re-establish Esprit as a leading international fashion brand and to restore goals of long-term, sustainable profitability. Ronald van der Vis, the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer, reported satisfaction with the first year’s progress “despite a challenging macro environment,” and said the plan was on track in driving future growth.

As part of the plan, Esprit launched three Lighthouse store concepts reflective of the brand’s modern spirit in Cologne, Antwerp and Düsseldorf over the 2011/2012 seasons. Under the direction of Chief Product and Design Officer Melody Harris-Jensbach, the brand has also developed a series of new and fashionable market-ready collections. Furthermore, the newly established Trend Division delivered its first collection to select European retail stores in July 2012.

The Group turnover decreased by 10.5% in local currency down to HKD 30,165 million (Hong Kong Dollar) from the HKD 33,767 million that was recorded at the end of June 2011. Europe remained the Group’s biggest region in terms of turnover, accounting for 78.6% with Germany serving as the largest contributor within the region and Group, accounting for 43.1% (down 0.2% since last year). The Asia-Pacific region performed relatively better than Europe and reported a turnover decline of 7.2% to HKD 5,532 million (HKD 5,808 million in 2011), accounting for 18.3% of the Group turnover. China remained that region’s biggest market and the second largest country for the Group, having increased from 7.9% to 8.6% in terms of turnover. As part of the Transformation Plan, the Group closed 64 losses and successfully divested its unprofitable North American retail operations. Thus, turnover from North America decreased by 25.2% in local currency to HKD 928 million (compared to HKD 1,234 million in 2011).

The Group’s retail turnover was HKD 17,806 million (HKD 19,059 million in 2011), representing a 6.1% year-to-year decline. The decline was attributable to a negative 4.1% comparable store sales growth and a decrease in retail selling space due to the store closure programs and the closure of North American retail operations. The wholesale turnover was HKD 12,116 million (HKD 14,475 million in 2011), representing a 16.5% year-to-year decline. This was primarily due to weak order intakes, rationalization of wholesale space and higher discounts and returns as part of various measures to strengthen the wholesale channel in the long term.