Asia Pacific sales accounted for 39 per cent of group sales for Swiss luxury-goods holding company Richemont for its half-year to September 30.
Sales in Asia Pacific rose by by 25 per cent, with double-digit growth in most markets led by Mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea and Macau. While all product categories saw growth, the unaudited figures show jewellery and watch sales were particularly strong year on year, with watches benefiting as no inventory buy-backs were needed as in the previous year.
For Japan, the 7 per cent rise in sales was driven by higher domestic and tourist spending, which benefited from a weaker yen. Jewellery and watches led sales growth, partly supported by the reopening of the Cartier flagship store in September last year and new flagships for Piaget (November) and Van Cleef & Arpels (April), all in Ginza.
Overall, group sales rose by 10 per cent at actual exchange rates to €5.6 billion (US$6.5 billion) and by 12 per cent at constant exchange rates. Excluding the previous year’s inventory buy-backs, sales increased by 8 per cent at constant exchange rates.
Operating profit expanded by 46 per cent to €1.1 billion, with profit for the period up 80 per cent to €974 million.
Gross profit increased by 13 per cent, representing 65.4 per cent of sales. The 190-point margin increase was mainly because of the non-recurrence of inventory buy-backs and improved manufacturing capacity absorption, says Richemont.
Profit grew by 80 per cent to €974 million, mainly reflecting the higher operating profit and a €181 million reversal in net finance income.