Growth described as “solid” across all regions and sales channels.
Richemont Group, owner of watch and jewellery brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin has announced its financial results for Q4, with sales at constant exchange rates up 24%, totalling €2,619 million (£2,166m).
The group has released its results on the same day that it opens its Salon International De La Haute Horologie (SIHH) show in Geneva, showcasing new products and novelties from its watch brands that also include A. Lange & Söhne, Panerai and Piaget.
For the three months between October and December 2011 sales in Europe totalled €914 million (£756m), an increase of 15% compared to same period in 2010, while its sales in the Asia-Pacific region jumped by 36% from €772 million in 2010 to €1,051 million (£869m) in Q4 last year.
There was a solid increase in sales across the board, with the Americas up 24% on last year at constant exchange rates, while the group’s Japanese sales increased by 10%.
In terms of jewellery-specific sales, Richemont enjoyed a 25% jump in jewellery sales in Q4, totalling €1,363 million (£1,127), while its specialist watchmaking sales improved by 27% to €697 million.
In November 2011 the group released its consolidated results for H1, showing a sales increase totalling 29% with a value of €4.2 billion (£3.6bn) and an operating profit increase of 41%.
With a view to the Q4 results Richemont’s chief executive Johann Rupert remained typically modest in his statement. In November’s he warned that the group would like be affected by “both the impact of global economic problems on the luxury goods industry in general”.
Rupert said: “The group’s overall performance remains solid. The growth in sales reflects growing demand in Asia-Pacific, our maisons’ creativity and the lasting appeal of our products.
“As expected, the slowdown in sales growth relative to the first six months of the current financial year reflects a combination of more demanding comparative figures as well as the volatile and challenging economic environment. Sales in the month of December were 21% above the prior period at actual and constant exchange rates.”
Rupert added that Richemont’s activities over the past nine months has allowed it to confirm that its operating profit would be higher than 2010.
In its review of trading, Richemont outlined that sales growth in Europe, which includes the Middle East and Russia, benefitted from purchases made by tourists while in the Americas region there is growing demand for jewellery and watches.
Compared to the first six months of the year, there was a decline in Richemont’s sales growth rate in the Asia-Pacific region which it says reflects “demanding comparative figures and a general convergence towards more sustainable, long-term growth rates”.
The group says that its retail sales growth is reflected the impact of the continuing boutique network expansion programme, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as demand for jewellery and the performance of Net-a-Porter, which it also owns.
The Group’s net cash position at December 31 2011 amounted to € 2.9 billion (£2.4bn) compared to €2.2 billion (£1.81bn) in 2010.