Watch sales at the Richemont Group increased 18% for the year, credited to a worldwide growing interest in haute horlogerie. Meanwhile the Richemont Group chairman Johann Rupert has announced he will take a one year sabbatical.
Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, which includes, Cartier, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Panerai and Montblanc, has today released its results for the year ended March 31, which stated that the Group’s sales increased by 14% to €10,150 million (£8,580 million) and by 9% on a constant currency basis. Its operating profit increased by 18% to €2,426 million (£2,051 million). A net profit increase of 30 % was said to be largely down to the non-recurrence of non-cash charges related to the strengthening of the Swiss franc in the previous year.
All segments, regions and channels were said to have seen solid growth and jewellery and watches were described as having performed particularly well, with watch sales increasing 18%.
Richemont Group chairman Johann Rupert said: "The jewellery maisons and the specialist watchmakers have reported remarkable growth in sales and profits, despite the continuing strength of the Swiss franc and historically high cost of precious metals and stones. Among our other maisons, Net-a-Porter continues to enjoy sales growth above the Group average. Montblanc and the fashion and accessories maisons grew in the mid-single digits, reflecting challenging conditions in their major markets."
Within the report, Richemont specified that Cartier’s watch collections performed solidly, tempered by lower wholesale orders for steel watches and that Montblanc’s sales increased by 6%, primarily driven by demand for watches and favourable currency effects.
Looking ahead, Rupert added: Despite the slowdown in the Asia Pacific region and continuing uncertainty in the world economy, sales in the month of April were 13 % above the comparative period and 12 % at constant exchange rates. However, one month of sales should not necessarily be taken as an indication of the year as a whole.
"The enduring appeal of our maisons and their growth potential lead us to look forward to the future with a degree of optimism. Therefore our investments will continue to focus on the differentiation of our maisons, the expansion and integration of their respective manufacturing facilities, and the adaption of their distribution strategies to the constantly changing customer environment in growth markets and tourist destinations."
Rupert also announced that he plans to take a 12-month sabbatical following the 25th annual general meeting in September and said that during his absence deputy chairman Yves-André Istel will chair meetings of the Board of Directors.