Esprit has laid out plans to invest in is underperforming markets as the global downturn contributed to a group pre-tax profits fall of 26% to HK$5.97bn (£476m).

The Hong Kong listed retailer has 29 stores across the UK and Ireland and these were among the group’s worst performers with turnover dropping 18.2 per cent in the year to June 30.

Total group turnover for the year was HK$34.5bn (£2.75bn) compared to HK$37.2bn (£2.97bn) last year.

It said resources would now be diverted to it underperforming markets including the UK, Canada and Australia.

The retailer said it was still focussed on expansion with a target of between 60 and 80 new stores for its current financial year in an HK$800m (£63.8m) retail expansion drive.

It also said it would change the mix of products in stores: “Product initiatives currently underway include reduction of the number of styles offered in each collection to redirect the focus of the teams to deliver only the best selling products.”