WATCHES by Cartier on the opening day of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie watch fair for Richemont brands in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this year.     Reuters
WATCHES by Cartier on the opening day of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie watch fair for Richemont brands in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this year. Reuters

Richemont shares soar after group reports strong sales

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Jan 20, 2020

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DURBAN - Swiss luxury group Richemont’s share price rose more than 5percent on the JSE on Friday after the group reported a 6percent increase in sales for the third quarter to end December to 4.16 billion (R66.66bn).

This was at actual exchange rates and by 4percent at constant exchange rates.

However, in the nine months to end December, sales were up by 8percent.

The group said it experienced strong growth in Europe and the Americas during the quarter, with Asia Pacific achieving a low-single digit, a strong double-digit increase in China and Korea more than offsetting a marked contraction in Hong Kong.

“Sales in Europe grew by 9percent, benefiting from favourable comparative numbers and strong sales in most markets. Sales in Asia Pacific increased by 2percent, driven by strong double-digit sales growth in China and Korea,” the group said.

Sales in Americas increased by 9percent at actual exchange rates, led by good performances in the US that compensated for declines in other markets.

The share price responded favourable to the update by climbing to R121.11 a share, before closing 5.82percent stronger at R121.25 on Friday.

The group owns a portfolio of leading international Maisons and it operates in three segments: Jewellery Maisons, which are Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels and Giampiero Bodino, Specialist Watchmakers with brands such as A Lange and Söhne, Baume and Mercier, as well as watch component manufacturing activities.

Middle East and Africa achieved 3percent increase in sales increase, reflecting a good performance of retail, both online and off-line, and favourable comparative numbers in a soft economic environment.

But the group said sales in Japan fell by 7percent, affected by lower tourist spending given a comparatively stronger Japanese yen and the October VAT increase that benefited first half sales.

Richemont’s retail channel increased sales by 5percent to 2.21bn during the quarter, despite the negative impact of temporary store closures in Hong Kong and China during most of the quarter. Its online retail channel saw a mid-single digit sales growth, with strong demand in the US.

In the Jewellery Maisons division, sales increased by 6percent to 2.16bn, driven by jewellery and watches across collections.

“The performance of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati was particularly noteworthy, given the negative impact of Hong Kong and China,” the group said.

The Specialist Watchmakers reported a 2percent increase in sales to 818million.

BUSINESS REPORT 

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