Richemont Group sales soared 24 per cent in December quarter, to €3.915 billion.
It was largely down to the inclusion of online acquisitions Yoox-Net-A-Porter (YNAP) and Watchfinder, which were consolidated into the group’s accounts on May 1 and June 1, respectively.
But even excluding that, the sales growth was still strong at 5 per cent by constant exchange rates.
By region, European sales accelerated at twice the rate of Asia, up 35 per cent at constant exchange rates, with Asia Pacific – still the company’s largest single geographic market – up by 17 per cent.
Sales in Europe reached €1.147 billion in the quarter, and in Asia €1.389 billion. Sales in the Americas surged 41 per cent to €801 million and in Japan by 14 per cent to €344 million.
The only market where Richemont failed to perform was the Middle East and Africa, where sales slipped 3 per cent to €234 million.
The company’s largest category, jewellery maisons, recorded 8 per cent growth to €1.985 billion, while Richemont said YNAP posted double-digit growth across all regions and solid performances across all its categories. Watchfinder’s sales expanded “more moderately”.
Excluding the new online business unit, Richemont Group sales grew in all regions, with the exception of the Middle East and Europe. During the latter part of the quarter, sales in Europe were affected by social unrest in France which impacted tourism and led to store closures for six consecutive Saturdays. The disposal of Lancel in June also impacted the year-on-year comparison.
A 10 per cent increase in sales in Asia Pacific reflected double-digit sales growth in Mainland China and good increases in other main markets. Sales growth in Hong Kong slowed, primarily due to the strength of the Hong Kong dollar versus the renminbi that resulted in lower tourist spending.
In Japan, a 7 per cent expansion in sales was fuelled by continued domestic and tourist spending as well as the impact of newly opened directly operated boutiques.
Sales in the Americas rose by 9 per cent, primarily driven by the jewellery maisons.
Of Richemont’s many brands, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels led the way, increasing sales by 8 per cent, driven by jewellery and watches.
Richemont operates in four business areas: jewellery maisons, being Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels; specialist watchmakers, being A. Lange & Sohne, Baume & Mercier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis and Vacheron Constantin; online distributors, being YNAP and Watchfinder; and other businesses, including Alfred Dunhill, Azzedine Alaïa, Chloe, Montblanc and Peter Millar.