Richemont Group expects 80 per cent profit lift

With demand picking up for high-end watches, Swiss luxury goods company Richemont Group says it expects an 80 per cent increase in net profit for the six months to the end of September.

After a collapse of the Hong Kong market, Richemont was forced to buy back excess inventory, cut jobs and replace most of its brand chiefs. The buyback mainly impacted the Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels brands.

However, trading has improved says Richemont, whose brands also include Piaget and Vacheron Constantin. Constant-currency sales rose 12 per cent in the six months, and by 10 per cent on a reported basis, compared with a year earlier.

Operating profit is likely to rise 45 per cent, reflecting the non-recurrence of the exceptional inventory buybacks in the previous year, as well as positive currency movements, says Richemont.

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