Richemont Asia-Pacific sales soared 23 per cent in the five months to the end of August, with China and Hong Kong performing particularly well.
The luxury retail group, whose brands include Alfred Dunhill, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier and Piaget, says global sales rose 12 per cent on a constant exchange rate basis and by 10 per cent at actual exchange rates.
“The double-digit sales growth during the first five months was primarily driven by strong performance in the jewellery maisons and easier comparative figures,” the company said in a statement issued on the eve of its annual meeting.
“Sales increased in all regions, led by Asia Pacific. The strong performance in Asia Pacific was supported by double digit increases in most markets, including China and Hong Kong, where a large part of the exceptional inventory buy-backs took place in the comparative period. The 3 per cent growth in Europe reflects contrasted performances within the region as well as the emerging negative impact of a strong euro on tourist spending.
“In the UK, however, sales grew at a double digit rate benefitting from favourable currency movements. In Japan, (up 11 per cent), growth reflected higher domestic and tourist spending. Sales in the Middle East showed subdued growth, impacted by geopolitical uncertainties,” the company reported.
During the same period last year Richemont was involved in an expensive buy-back program of luxury watches in an effort to reduce inventory in the market, following a drop in demand, mainly in greater China. But even excluding the exceptional inventory buy-backs in the comparative period, constant currency sales increased by 7 per cent for the five months to August this year.
Richemont also owns Van Cleef & Arpels, Giampiero Bodino, A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Officine Panerai, Roger Dubuis, the Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewellery joint venture, Azzedine Alaïa, Chloé, Lancel, Montblanc and Peter Millar. It has a 49 per cent share in Yoox Net-A-Porter Group.