Jewellery is displayed at Cartier in New York City.

Johannesburg - Johannesburg-listed shares of Richemont lose around 4 percent after the luxury goods maker failed to hit third quarter sales expectations.

The company that is also listed in Zurich says sales were up only 9 percent after cautious buying by Asia Pacific retailers.

Analysts had expected growth of nearly 12 percent.

Luxury watch makers are grappling with weak demand in China, where the government's fight against illegitimate gifting has hurt sales of Richemont's expensive timepieces, such as IWC, and Cartier jewellery.

Despite the world economic crisis, Richemont has had a good run in the last two years rising 63 in 2012 and 57 percent in 2013 on Chinese demand.

After falling more than 4 percent, it shares clawed back some losses but are still down 3.7 percent at 102.53 rand. - Reuters