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Richemont rides Japanese recovery

Asia-Pacific may remain “extremely challenging” for luxury retail group Richemont – but it’s a whole different story in nearby Japan.

The luxury brand maker is cashing in on a recovering luxury market in Japan, which is now attracting increasing visitor numbers from Mainland China – those who used to spend up in Hong Kong – at the same time as locals are once again opening their wallets for discretionary purchases.

Sales in Europe, also partly affected by increasing visitors from China, grew 26 per cent.

Richemont says total sales increased four per cent excluding currency shifts in the five months to August.

“Japan and Europe more than compensate for the weak development in Hong Kong,” Rene Weber, an analyst at Bank Vontobel AG in Zurich told Bloomberg.

“The strong performance of those markets mean the Swiss watch industry can weather the Asian weakness, at least this year.”

Richemont reported “significantly lower” sales in Hong Kong and Macau, but noted China sales were returning to normal, recording “strong double-digit” growth.

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