Richemont lifted by strong performance in Japan

Thursday, 15 May 2014
ANALYSIS_ Cie. Financière Richemont on Thursday reported a 2.9 percent rise in annual profit, underlining a sustained flourishing luxury market and tackling thus the Chinese slowdown. Net profit increased by 3 percent, what encouraged the company to keep biding for an strategy of “continued  organic-growth”.

“Richemont today reports a satisfactory set of results for the year ended 31 March 2014, supported by improvements in Asia Pacific, the Americas and Japan,” summed up in a note Yves-André Istel, Chairman at the Swiss luxury group.

Commenting the increase in net profit, which includes a 214 million euro positive effect of the exchange rate hedging activities, Istel said that “The increase in cash flow from operations reflects not only the significant benefits of the exchange rate hedging programme, but also the Maisons’ tight working capital management. It allowed the Group to maintain its investment programme while strengthening its financial position: the Group’s net cash position at 31 March 2014 was up by 1.4 billion to 4.7 billion euro.”

Revenue rose to 10.65 billion euro from 10.15 billion, ahead of the 10.56 billion euro forecast by analysts in a ‘Wall Street Journal’ poll.

In April, the first month of its next financial year, Richemont said its sales increased 1 percent (6 percent at constant exchange rates), with all markets increasing sales except Japan, where a higher sales tax went into effect. At actual rates, all regions reported sales growth except for Japan, where the sales tax increase became effective on 1 April.

The retail channel still outperformed wholesale in all regions except Japan. Excluding Japan, sales increased by 4 percent at actual exchange rates, and by 8 percent at constant exchange rates.

“Richemont remains focused on long-term organic growth”

“Richemont remains focused on long-term organic growth and value creation for its clients, shareholders and employees. We intend to achieve this objective by offering desirable high quality products and by enhancing our production, product development, and increasingly distribution, through the consistent deployment of our business model across all the Maisons of the Group. We will continue to invest in talent, creativity and innovation, with a particular emphasis on markets with promising growth potential,” advanced the company after releasing its results Thursday.

Aimed to keep their objective to grow dividends steadily over the long term, the Board of Directors has proposed a dividend of 1.40 Swiss francs per share; up from 1.00 Swiss francs apiece issued a year earlier.

"Richemont announces a new programme to buy-back up to 10 million Richemont 'A' shares through the market over the next three years," the Geneva-based maker of luxury watches and jewellery said in a statement on Thursday.

Richemont shares closed at 87.25 Swiss francs on Wednesday.

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