Hong Kong-based fashion retailer Esprit Holdings Ltd today beat analysts' forecasts by posting a 41 per cent surge in first-half net profit. The company reported a net profit of HK$385.2 million (US$49.4m) for the six months ended 31 December 2001. Turnover was HK$4.65 billion, more than 16 per cent up on the HK$3.99 billion from the year-ago period.