Richemont on high with jewellery sales up 32%

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Group’s results show Cartier and Van Cleef were top performers.

Richemont Group, the Swiss luxury goods conglomerate that operates jewellery brands including Cartier, Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels today announced its financial results for the year ended March 31 2012, with jewellery sales up 32%.

The company’s overall annual sales increased 29%, totalling €8.8 billion (£7.1bn), incorporating its jewellery, watch, fashion and luxury goods divisions.

A breakdown of the results show that Richemont’s operating profit rose by 51 % to €2 billion (£1.59bn), while its share dividend increased 22%.

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The groups jewellery sales rose 32%, totalling €4.5 billion (£3.6m) for the year ending 31 March, with Cartier and Van Cleef said to have performed “exceptionally well”.

Richemont said both companies had reported high growth across products and channels as demand for high jewellery remained solid. Its more accessible jewellery ranges enjoyed "very strong demand".

In Europe Richemont’s sales showed a double-digit “organic growth”. Sales were boosted by the growing number of travellers from other parts of the world and online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter’s performance.

The Middle East and Africa, which accounted for 16% of sales in the region, also reported strong double-digit growth.

In Asia, where the growing demand for luxury goods continues, the region represented a total 42% of the group’s sales, with Richemont’ offering that the Asia-Pacific region showcased another year of sustained broad-based growth, particularly in Hong Kong and mainland China.

The group has also pushed its standalone store openings in the Asia-Pacific region and boutique openings during the year were primarily in high-growth markets, such as mainland China. The worldwide network of directly operated boutiques amounted to 948 at the end of March compared to 876 one year earlier.

Net-a-Porter was a strong performer in the Americas, where double-digit growth was also reported. There was high demand for fine jewellery and watches in the region, also.

Johann Rupert, chief executive and executive chairman of Richemont Group said: “We are pleased to report that Richemont has achieved strong sales growth across all segments and all geographic regions, despite a volatile and diverse economic environment.

“The group’s jewellery maisons and its specialist watchmakers have reported record sales and profits, despite the strength of the Swiss franc and the rising cost of precious materials and input costs. Montblanc continued to grow and reported increased profits.”

Rupert added that the good performances of Richemont’s brands “reflect[s] the commitment and efforts of all our colleagues, the strength of our maisons and the leverage provided by the group’s shared services.”

Richemont says it remains mindful of the unstable economic environment, particularly within the euro zone, but says that the “enduring appeal” of its various brands has lead it to focus on investing in the organic growth of each company.

“Investments are primarily dedicated to the expansion and integration of the maisons’ respective manufacturing facilities, as well as growth in their retail networks. Selective boutique openings will be focused in growth markets and in tourist destinations around the world,” revealed Rupert.

“Our [brands] remain entrepreneurial and innovative businesses at heart. More than ever, we are convinced of their resilience and long-term prospects. We therefore look forward to the future with cautious optimism.”

 

 

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