CARTIER watch maker Richemont said yesterday sales growth had ground to a halt in the Asia-Pacific region, rekindling fears about a market which has been the driving force of luxury sales in recent years.
Shares in the world’s second-biggest luxury goods company fell up to six per cent in trading after it posted a smaller-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter group sales.
“At this stage, it is unclear how business patterns may develop and how the business in the Asia Pacific region will evolve in the near future,” Richemont said.
Richemont sales rose five per cent at constant exchange rates in the three months to 31 December to €2.86bn (£2.3bn), missing forecasts for a 7.6 per cent rise in an analyst poll, as the previously booming Asia-Pacific region reported no growth. Wholesale growth fell in the quarter to just two per cent from eight per cent in the April to September period due to caution by retailers in Hong Kong and mainland China.