Richemont reports watch brands’ plans for 2013-14


Following last week’s annual financial results, Richemont has released its financial report for the year ending March 31, outlining in detail the performance highlights and 2013-14 plans for its brands.

Its watchmaking houses’ sales totalled €2.75 billion (£2.35bn) in the year ending March 31 2013, up on 2012’s figure of €2.32 billion (£1.98bn).

Operating profit for its watch brands totalled €733 million (£626m), while its watch sales made up 27% of the group’s total sales for the year to March 31 2013.

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Among each of its brands growth and product development were reported. Read on for a round-up of each Richemont brand’s successes and plans for the year ahead.

A. Lange & Söhne
A. Lange & Söhne opened new boutiques in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Palm Beach, Paris and Lisbon during the year, reaching a total of 11 global stores.

A. Lange & Söhne received 14 international awards for its products and for the maison itself and to promote the watchmakers of tomorrow the brand last year organised the F. A. Lange Scholarship & Watchmaking Excellence Award for the third time. The brand has also continued its sponsorship of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2013.

Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier says updates to its Linea, Capeland chronograph and shaped Hampton models, which took place in 2011, were warmly received leading to further new developments in 2012.

While the brand’s Clifton model, launched last year, celebrated the 1950s it has, in parallel, begun developments in the digital sphere; at present the brand has 350 000 fans on Facebook.

IWC continued its existing sponsorship and partnering activities within the world of sports as a long-term supporter of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and supplied the official watch of the German national football team.

It also pursued its selective distribution strategy by opening 17 boutiques in 2012 in key cities worldwide. Highlights were the opening of new flagship boutiques in NewYork and Beijing. Significant boutique openings also took place in Paris and Zurich.

Looking ahead IWC says it plans to continue its selective distribution strategy and expand its boutique network, mainly in Europe and the Middle East. The brand will also continue to invest in its production capacity in Schaffhausen with a strong focus on the development and production of IWC-manufactured movements and new haute horlogerie complications.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has been celebrating its 180th anniversary over the past year, with several events and new timepiece launches including its Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee, the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique À Quantième Perpétuel Jubilee and the Master Ultra Thin Jubilee, the thinnest mechanical manual winding watch in the world, with a case thickness of only 4.05mm.

At Panerai the brand launched several new models and continues to upgrade its distribution through its own retail network and opened a further 16 boutiques. The Panerai network now comprises 52 exclusive boutiques.

The brand launched a new website as well as several digital projects which it says helped to narrow the gap between the maison and its customers.

In the year ahead, a new Panerai manufacture will be opened in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, aiding the production of in-house movements.

Piaget last year opened 12 new boutiques including six in China, two in Vietnam, and a new flagship in Hong Kong. Piaget now has 88 boutiques around the world. Piaget also launched an e-commerce site in the USA.

Ralph Lauren
At SIHH 2013, Ralph Lauren highlighted the equestrian and safari worlds with new models. During the year, the company was welcomed to the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and became a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.

Ralph Lauren is present in more than 25 countries, with 60 points of sale, including New York, Beverly Hills, Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The year ahead will be focused on the expansion of its network focusing on the US, Japan and Asia Pacific, with the opening of a dedicated watch salon at Prince’s Building, Hong Kong.

Roger Dubuis
Roger Dubius distribution network was substantially developed during the year 2012-13, with five boutique openings in China and the Middle East. This geographical expansion and further reinforcement of Roger Dubuis’ retail strategy will continue in 2013 with boutique openings and renovations. In addition, the roll-out of shop-in-shop concepts will strengthen the brand’s presence amongst its trade partners.

Vacheron Constantin
The year 2012 was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Vacheron Constantin’s Malte collection, with an exhibition that toured the world.

The Patrimony collection remains the most important in the brand’s portfolio. Its 38 dedicated boutiques, including openings in Paris, Beverly Hills and Taiwan, are complemented by a network of smaller distribution partnerships.

Two substantial manufacturing projects are underway in Switzerland for Vacheron Constantin. Firstly a new building for the production of its components in the Vallée de Joux and secondly the extension of its Geneva manufactory.

Montblanc enjoyed international expansion in the year 2012-13, with increased exposure via social media which further strengthened the brand’s global outreach. The brand launched a photo contest, inviting everyone to capture "moments of beauty" at exactly the same instant, all over the world.

The brand also launched its e-commerce platform in Europe, covering France, the UK and Germany. The US e-commerce site, launched in 2011, enjoyed strong growth.

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