Richemont announced trading results for the 3Q 2018
Richemont announced trading results for the three month period ended 31 December 2018 versus the prior year period.
The Group’s net cash position at 31 December 2018 amounted to € 2.3 billion (2017: € 5.1 billion) with a gross cash position at € 6.6 billion following the € 4.0 billion corporate bond issued in March 2018.
With the consolidation of YNAP and Watchfinder regrouped for the first time under the newly created Online Distributors business area, Group sales grew by 24%.
Sales grew in all regions, with the exception of the Middle East and Europe. During the latter part of the quarter, sales in Europe were affected by social unrest in France which negatively impacted tourism and led to store closures for six consecutive Saturdays.
A 10% increase in sales in Asia Pacific reflected double digit sales growth in mainland China and good increases in other main markets. Sales growth in Hong Kong slowed, primarily due to the strength of the Hong Kong dollar versus the renminbi that resulted in lower tourist spending. In Japan, a 7% expansion in sales was driven by continued domestic and tourist spending as well as the impact of newly opened directly operated boutiques.
Sales in the Americas rose by 9%, benefitting from good performance by the Jewellery Maisons and the other business area unfavourable currency movements weighed on sales in the Middle East and Africa, which decreased by 13% over the period.
The retail channel posted a 5% increase in sales, with growth slowing in December due to the above mentioned temporary store closures in France and a strong comparative base for high jewellery. The wholesale channel registered a 1% growth in sales, reflecting ongoing cautious watch inventory management and distribution optimisation initiatives.
The 8% sales progression at Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels was driven by jewellery and watches. Specialist Watchmakers’ sales were in line with the prior year period, with lower wholesale sales offset by higher sales in the Specialist Watchmakers’ directly operated boutiques.
Alex Shishlo, Editor in Chief of the European Bureau, Rough&Polished, Brussels