Esprit profit drops

Clothing retailer Esprit Holdings posted a 21 per cent fall in first-half net profit and will switch its textile sourcing to Bangladesh from southern China to cut costs. Esprit, like rivals such as the world’s No3 fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz faces the challenge of rising raw material costs, such as cotton, which will pressure sales of budget clothing chains. “We have identified the opportunities to diversify our portfolio in different countries. One of the countries that we have identified is Bangladesh,” Esprit’s chief executive Ronald Van der Vis said. “We will open selectively new sourcing offices in future in markets where we believe there are opportunities for us.” Esprit shares ended down 0.3 per cent.