After a racing that could be described as Prada’s extraordinary results VS concerning Esprit lost of route, the FashionUnited Top 100 Index upped Thursday by 12.77, closing market at 1259.52 and clearly ahead other indexes such as Dow Jones, which being the first behind the fashion benchmark, was still 40 points under the latter.
3.1% was the final loss for Esprit Holdings Ltd, which said Thursday its first-half net profit fell 21% from a year earlier, weighed by its still-struggling wholesale business and shrinking European operations. The before fierce competitor to Hennes & Mauritz AB and Inditex SA in the global apparel retail market, has been trying to reinvigorate its performance by rebuilding its brand and cutting-costs among other initiatives, but analysts said the company will likely continue to face headwinds.
"Fixing a brand is difficult. And even if you can fix it, it takes a long time," said Aaron Fischer, analyst at CLSA. Esprit said its net profit for the six months ended Dec. 31 fell to 2.14 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$274.8 million) from HK$2.71 billion a year earlier. Revenue fell 4.3% to HK$17.69 billion from HK$18.48 billion.
Together with Esprit in the big losers of the session was French Connection, which dropped by -1.73% just after announced its launch of a Facebook store at the end of the month that will allow followers of the clothing retailer’s page to buy items directly from its news feed.
This poor report was to be compared to the dramatic gains of the Italian luxury fashion group Prada that reported Thursday its 2010 sales topped its target of two billion euros ($2.72 billion) on the back of soaring business in Asia where it is about to launch its first public share listing. Sales jumped 31 percent to 2.05 billion euros, the Milanese group said in a statement, with a 48 percent rise in sales in Asia and gains of 29 percent in the United State and 18 percent in Europe.