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Richemont APAC sales down 15 percent last quarter while Japanese market surges 83 percent

Swiss luxury group Richemont announced on 15th July double-digit sales growth for the first quarter ending 30th June, despite plunging revenues in the company’s Asia-Pacific region which was hit by COVID restrictions in China and surrounding markets.

SEE ALSO : Richemont APAC sales up, China gains 20 percent

The owner of luxury brands Azzedine Alaïa, Cartier, Chloé, as well as Dunhill, Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels, said quarterly revenues reached EUR 5.246 billion euros (USD 5.32 billion). This is a 12 percent increase from the previous quarter and is allegedly driven by strong double-digit increases in Europe, the Americas and Japan. The Asian archipelago nation posted the strongest regional performance with an 83 percent growth in sales, supported by strong local demand. 

In Asia Pacific, the strict enforcement of a zero-COVID policy led to a double-digit sales decline in mainland China and Macau SAR (China) and to a single-digit sales reduction in Hong Kong SAR (China).

Sales in mainland China were 37 percent lower for the quarter, although the rate of decline softened to 12 percent in June when restrictions were progressively eased. The solid momentum across most other Asian markets, notably in Australia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand, partially mitigated the decline of sales in the region, with sales in Asia Pacific overall contracting by 15 percent, said the company.

Richemont recorded sales growth across channels, with retail posting the strongest performance, up by 18 percent. The growth has been driven by double-digit increases across all business areas, and noteworthy performances in Europe, the Americas and Japan. Online retail sales increased by 5 percent, reflecting muted sales progression at the group’s online distributors and strong growth in its jewellery maisons and specialist watchmakers segment.

Overall, jewellery maisons generated a 12 percent sales growth benefitting from thriving retail sales and solid jewellery and watch sales at Buccellati, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. 

Specialist watchmakers’ sales increased by 10 percent, driven by online and offline retail sales. Together these contributed to 53 percent of the business area sales, while the group’s Online Distributors recorded a 2 percent sales progression and continued their shift towards a hybrid business model. 

The group’s other business area, mostly composed of its Fashion & Accessories maisons, posted the strongest sales increase, up 28 percent, supported by strong retail and wholesale sales with sustained demand across most maisons and regions.

SEE ALSO : Richemont sales in APAC soar 23 percent on last year

The group’s net cash position at 30th June was EUR 5.4 billion (USD 5.74 billion), compared to EUR 3.6 billion (USD 3.649 billion) last year, reflecting the quarter’s strong trading as well as replenishment of inventories, Richemont added.