Richemont reported an 8 per cent rise in quarterly sales on Wednesday as returning tourists in Europe and Japan helped the world’s second biggest luxury group compensate for a weaker Chinese market.
The maker of Cartier jewellery and IWC watches said its sales rose to US$5.82 billion in the three months to the end of December, up from $5.4 billion a year earlier.
The figure missed the 6.1 billion forecast by analysts. When currency movements were excluded, the company’s sales increased by 5 per cent.
The improvement was led by Japan, where sales increased by 30 per cent helped by “solid” domestic sales and a gradual return of tourism. The lifting of Covid restrictions mid-October as well as a comparatively weaker yen also helped.
In Europe sales increased by 17 per cent helped by strong local demand and returning tourists, particularly from the Middle East and the United States.
But the Asia Pacific region saw sales fall 7 per cent as sales in China, Hong Kong and Macau fell.
“The massive increase of Covid cases negatively impacted customer traffic and, due to staff unavailability, led to a reduction of boutique opening hours or temporary closures of points of sale in mainland China, leading to a sales drop of 24 per cent during the period under review,” Richemont said.
- Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Paul Carrel, of Reuters.