REPORT_ Ahead of its Annual General Meeting to be held in Geneva, Richemont announces that its sales for the five months ended August 31, 2014 increased by 4 percent at constant exchange rates. At actual exchange rates, sales rose by 1 percent, negatively impacted by the weakening of the US dollar and the yen against the euro during the period. Sales growth was subdued overall, with double-digit increases in the Middle East and Americas largely offset by low growth in Europe and decreases in Asia-Pacific and Japan.
European and Middle-Eastern sales continued to benefit from tourism. In the Asia-Pacific region, sales were lower in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, offsetting positive developments in other markets. In mainland China, retail sales grew while the rate of decline in wholesale sales softened. Sales growth in the Americas remained strong. In Japan, prudent consumer sentiment and a surge in purchases in March 2014 ahead of a sales tax increase combined to dampen sales in the April to August period.
Retail sales growth continued to outperform wholesale sales, but at a lower level than a year ago, particularly at Van Cleef & Arpels and at Net-A-Porter. Cartier jewellery continued to outperform watch sales, which have suffered from weak demand and destocking, particularly in Asia-Pacific. As announced last May, the Montblanc Maison, which was previously considered a separate reporting segment, is now aggregated and disclosed under others.
Richemont’s interim results for the six-month period to September 30, 2014 will be released on November 7, 2014.