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Hong Kong protests knock the shine off strong sales growth at Richemont


Richemont sales rose by 6% to €7.4 billion in the six months to the end of September, the corporation reports today.

A favourable weakening of the euro against major world currencies compared the to the same period in 2018 increased that growth to 9%.

The group increased sales by double digit percentages in the United States, the UK, China, Korea and Japan, which outperformed other mature markets, Richemont reports.

Hong Kong sales were down by double digits due to anti-government protests, the group’s chairman Johann Rupert, says in a statement accompanying the results.

Watchmakers were particularly hard hit by the Hong Kong unrest. “Primarily due to a difficult environment in Hong Kong SAR, China, the Specialist Watchmakers registered muted sales growth, notwithstanding overall growth in their directly operated stores. Panerai, Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin performed particularly well,” Mr Rupert describes.

Jewellery maisons and online distributors, the division that houses Watchfinder and YNAP, outperformed watches.

UK-based Watchfinder & Co., which Richemont bought last year, expanded internationally and now has a presence in France, Hong Kong and Germany.

Profit for the period dropped by 61% to €869 million. The financial report said it would have been flat were it not for a €1,378 million revaluation of the Yoox Net-A-Porter Group shares held prior to buy-out.

“Geopolitical tensions around the world have affected customer sentiment. Global events are beyond our control and while we have remained responsive to market challenges, we have also continued to invest in our Maisons, reinforcing our long term approach to developing Richemont’s businesses,” says Mr Rupert.



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