THE WORLD’S second-largest luxury group Richemont said sales increased by nearly a third in the quarter to December, due to the rising demand for its jewellery and watches in the Americas and Europe.
In a statement yesterday, the company, which is chaired by billionaire Johann Rupert, said the quarter was its fastest holiday-season sales growth in at least a decade.
It said consumers spent lavishly on Cartier jewels and Chloé fashion.
Richemont is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange as a primary listing, and is included in the Swiss Market Index of leading stocks.
Richemont South African Depository Receipts are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Richemont’s secondary listing. The company’s iconic brands include Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Mont Blanc, and Piaget.
According to the company, the Americas led the growth with sales up by 55 percent, followed by Europe and the Middle East and Africa, where sales grew by 42 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
Japan and the Asia Pacific saw sales increase by 22 percent and 18 percent, respectively, with China consolidating at a high level of +7 percent.
Its total sales ascended 36 percent to ¤5.7 billion (R100.15bn) in the quarter to the end of December compared with the same quarter prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It said the increase was caused mainly by the demand for high-end bracelets and watches. “Retail generated the strongest channel performance, with sales up 45 percent, followed by online retail sales up 19 percent and wholesale sales up 14 percent. Direct sales to consumers have strengthened to reach 78 percent of group sales,” the company said.
While the online sales rose by 19 percent, investors are waiting to hear what Richemont’s plans were for Yoox Net-A-Porter (Ynap) after the company said it planned to sell the section through a deal with web-shopping specialist Farfetch.
In November, Richemont announced that it was in advanced talks to further strengthen its partnership with Farfetch, a British-Portuguese online fashion platform. As part of the transaction, Farfetch would invest in Ynap as a minority shareholder.
The announcement followed reports that Richemont may be looking to sell the loss-making Ynap, an online luxury and fashion retailer that it acquired in 2018. Richemont has been bringing Ynap retail offerings to Chinese consumers following a strategic partnership with Chinese technology group Alibaba in 2018.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE