REPORT Ahead of its Annual General Meeting to be held today in Geneva, Richemont has said that its sales for the five months ended August 31, 2015 increased by 4 percent at constant exchange rates and 16 percent at actual exchange rates, positively impacted by the weakening of the euro against the US dollar and related currencies, as well as the strong performance of its boutiques. The company said that Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels performed well in a volatile environment.
Following the agreement to merge the Net-A-Porter Group with YOOX announced on March 31, 2015, the figures exclude The Net-A-Porter Group’s sales in both periods. That transaction is expected to be completed in October 2015.
Mixed sales performance across regions
There were double-digit increases in Europe and Japan offsetting decreases in Asia Pacific and soft demand in Americas and the Middle East. European sales benefitted from good tourist numbers, helped by the weakness of the euro versus the US dollar and other currencies. In the Asia Pacific region, sales in Hong Kong and Macau were significantly lower. Mainland China resumed growth with retail sales growing at a strong double-digit rate, overcoming lower wholesale demand; other markets in the region saw positive developments. Sales growth in the Americas was subdued, supported by high jewellery, fashion & accessories and e-commerce. Japan enjoyed strong momentum, both from local and tourist demand, helped by a weak Yen.
Sales in Europe were ahead 26 percent at constant exchange rates and 27 percent at actual exchange rate against the same period, last year. Sales in the Middle East and Africa were up 2 percent and 24 percent, in Americas, 2 percent and 22 percent and Japan, 48 percent and 53 percent at constant and actual exchange rates respectively. In Asia Pacific, however there was a decline of 18 percent and 2 percent on constant and actual rates.
While retail business reported a 14 percent jump at constant exchange rates and 28 percent at actual exchange rate, whole declined 6 percent at constant exchange rate but was up 5 percent at actual exchange rates. Retail was strong overall, with many maisons reporting double-digit growth supported by strong jewellery, and Leather sales. The marked decrease in wholesale sales reflected the negative trend in the Asia Pacific region, where the environment continues to be extremely challenging.
Jewellery business receives positive response
Jewellery, and Other businesses improved 6 percent and 4 percent respectively at constant exchange rates and 20 percent and 19 percent at actual exchange rates. Specialist Watchmakers business declined 1 percent at constant exchange rates and improved 10 percent at actual exchange.
In company’s own boutiques, the jewellery maisons also reported growth in watch sales. The Specialist Watchmakers suffered from weak demand in the Asia Pacific region, offsetting good momentum elsewhere. Richemont’s other businesses reported good growth overall, with the negative impact on sales from ongoing reorganisation at Alfred Dunhill and Lancel, which was counterbalanced by the positive performances at Montblanc, Chloé and Peter Millar.