Richemont Posts Flat Five Months Results, Reflecting Continued Weakness In Watch Market

Richemont recently announced its results for the five months to the end of August, showing tepid sales growth, with a contraction in Asia and Japan.

Echoing the slowdown evident in Richemont’s 2013 results, the figures for the five months to 31 August, announced at its recent annual general meeting, are similarly desultory.  Revenue at actual exchange rates grew just 1%, due to the weakness of the US dollar and yen versus the Euro. Sales in Asia and Japan both fell, by 2% and 14% respectively. Growth in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East made up for the weakness in Asia. Wholesale sales (meaning product sold to retailers) fell by 1%, though retail sales (items sold through Richemont’s own boutiques) rose 3%.  Notably, the report mentioned strong performance at Van Cleef & Arpels, along with slow watch sales at Cartier. We predicted this slowdown in an editorial earlier this year. And we expect this to last for some time more. Also announced at the AGM was the retirement of the 80 year old Franco Cologni from Richemont’s board, after 45 years at Richemont and its predecessor companies. One of the key people in the formation of the company and its philosophy of luxury marketing, Dr Cologni has left behind an impressive machine.

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