Esprit saw its share price shoot up today (10 May) as the company recorded third-quarter comparable-store sales growth and completed the divestiture of its North American operations.

The Hong Kong based retailer saw its share price rise 5.27% to HKD14.78 per share as it revealed comparable store sales swung to a positive 0.5% growth over the quarter, against a 4.6% decline in the same period of the prior year.

However, the company, which is in the midst of a transformation plan, recorded a 7.2% decline in sales to HKD23.9bn for the nine months ended 31 March. Over the period, comparable-store sales fell 3%.

Retail sales fell 2.5% to HKD13.8bn, while wholesale revenues were down 15.5% to HKD9.9bn.

Over the period, the brand completed the divestment of its North American retail operations. It said it will also get a HKD700m write-back from the store closures.

It said its China design centre and trend division are progressing according to plan and will deliver their first collections in stores in August and September 2012 respectively.

Its central buying function has begun operating, and the company is hoping the shift will help it save around HKD1bn per year by the 2014/15 financial year.