Retail in Asia

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Richemont annual sales up 3 percent despite ‘softening’ APAC in Q4, new CEO revealed

Richemont reported a 3 percent increase in full-year revenues to EUR 20.6 billion, despite sales growth slowing in the fourth quarter on a “softening” Asia Pacific.

SEE ALSO: Richemont acquires Italian jeweller Vhernier

The luxury conglomerate said sales fell to EUR 4.8 billion (USD 5.21 billion) in the three months ending March, down 1 percent, compared to a 4 percent uptick in sales in the third quarter

Despite the slowdown, Richemont said annual Asia Pacific sales increased 4 percent, while Japan grew by 8 percent during the year.

For the year, the group’s retail channel rose 5 percent, with growth across all business areas and regions, according to a press release.

By business segment, jewellery and maisons (Buccellati, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels) grew by 6 percent to EUR 14 billion), and specialist watchmaker (A. Lange & Söhne, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin) sales were down 3 percent to EUR 3.8 billion. The Swiss group’s ‘other’ business, which is predominantly composed of fashion and accessories maisons, dipped 2 percent for the year, despite double-digit growth at Alaia.

“We experienced a softening of sales in the fourth quarter in Asia Pacific against challenging comparatives, offset by higher growth in all the other regions,” said Johann Rupert, Richemont’s chairman.

“As we predicted, a sustainable rebound in Chinese demand would take some time. We are encouraged by our increasingly balanced client mix across nationalities, with the emergence of several growth engines for the group. Our deliberate focus on local clients across geographies, supported by increased direct client interaction, is contributing to improved resilience,” he said.

In addition to its earnings update, Richemont also announced the promotion of Nicolas Bos, currently chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels, to the re-established role of CEO of Richemont, effective June 1.

Bram Schot was also named non-executive deputy chairman from September, succeeding Josua (Dillie) Malherbe, who steps down after 11 years.

Earlier this month, Richemont announce it has reached an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Vhernier S.p.A., an Italian jewellery maison, in a private transaction.