Asia sales lift at Richemont

Kasmira Jefford
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RICHEMONT, the Swiss luxury goods conglomerate, posted an upbeat trading statement yesterday, reporting a 24 per cent rise in third quarter sales.

The owner of brands including Cartier, Montblanc and Dunhill said revenues in the three months to 31 December rose to €2.62bn (£2.17bn) from €2.11bn a year earlier.

It expects operating profit for the full year to be “significantly higher” than the previous year when it reports in May.

Johann Rupert, chairman and chief executive, said sales growth was slower than the first six months of the financial year due to “demanding comparative figures” as well as “the volatile and challenging economic environment”.

Asia was the fastest growing region, particularly in mainland China and Hong Kong, with revenues growing by 36 per cent in the period to €1.05bn.

In Europe, its second biggest region, tourists flocking to luxury boutiques offset a decline in local demand from local clientele to boost sales by 16 per cent at €914m.

Meanwhile the Americas saw a 23 per cent rise in sales to €382m on the back of strong demand for jewellery, watches and the performance of Net-a-Porter, the online fashion business acquired by Richemont in 2010.

Shares in the company rose 2.76 per cent on the Swiss stock exchange.