Esprit continues search for North American licensee

Hong Kong -- Asian-based apparel retailer Esprit reported Thursday a net profit of $71.6 million for the six months ended December, beating Wall Street estimates.

The retailer said it remains on track to close its directly managed stores in North America by end-March 2012 and will continue to look for a licensing partner.

Esprit had reported earlier it was in the process of closing its stores here and would close all its outlets in North America if it failed to find a partner to take care of the business.