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Richemont Christmas sales rise at fastest pace in 4 years

Jan 11 2018 09:55
Corinne Gretler and Robert Williams, Bloomberg

Zurich - Richemont [JSE:CFR] the maker of Cartier necklaces and IWC Schaffhausen timepieces, reported its fastest holiday sales growth in four years, boosted by demand in Asia.

Revenue gained 7% excluding currency shifts in the three months through December, the Geneva-based company said on Thursday. Analysts predicted 5.9%. Still, wholesale revenue declined as retailers struggled to reduce inventory.

Demand for luxury goods surged last year following a multi-year slowdown driven in part by economic uncertainty and a crackdown on state corruption in China. While the turnaround has sparked competitors like LVMH and Hermes International to invest in new factories for products like high-end handbags and cognac, Richemont has focused on clearing out a glutted market for Swiss timepieces by buying back unsold stock from retailers.

The company, whose full name is Cie. Financiere Richemont, doesn’t report profit for its fiscal third quarter. Total revenue amounted to €3.12bn (R46.39bn), just ahead of the €3.1bn (R46.10bn)estimate.

Revenue in Asia Pacific, which accounted for nearly 40% of total sales in the first half, gained 11%. Analysts forecast 12% for that region.

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