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Richemont shares surge following boom in Cartier owner's sales to China

By Louis Goss

Swiss watch seller Compagnie Financière Richemont on Thursday reported a sharp uptick in its revenues in the final three months of 2023, driven by surging jewelry sales in China and Japan which offset a drop in sales in Europe.

The luxury goods conglomerate, which owns brands including Cartier and Net-A-Porter, posted a 8% uptick in sales in the quarter ending on Dec. 31 2023, to EUR5.59 billion ($6.09 billion) at constant exchange rates, as its sales increased sharply in all regions worldwide outside of Europe.

Shares in Richemont (CH:CFR) increased 9% on Thursday having lost 15% of their value over the previous 12 months.

The increase in Richemont's revenues saw the Swiss firm beat analysts' expectations following forecasts from six analysts polled by Factset that the company would generate sales of just EUR5.21 billion in the three months ending on Dec. 31 2023.

The uptick in Richemont's sales was largely driven by a 13% increase in revenues from its Asia Pacific businesses, to EUR2.05 billion, which were buoyed by a 25% uptick in sales in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, driven by booming sales to retail customers.

Richemont's jewelry businesses - Cartier, Buccellati, and Van Cleef & Arpels - led the surge in seeing a 12% uptick in revenues, to EUR3.95 billion, compared to a 3% increase in sales from its watchmaking division, to EUR939 million.

Bernstein analysts, led by Luca Solca, said the sharp increase in sales from Richemont's "all-important Jewelry Maisons" would likely drive stock in the company upwards, as they noted shares in the Swiss firm "have been subdued and have fallen with the rest of the sector of lately."

Luxury companies and fashion firms have suffered in recent months as their sales have been hit by a downturn in the global economy and the end of a post-COVID boom in spending on expensive goods.

Richemont, meanwhile, reported a 1% drop in sales from those companies that are not involved in selling either watches or jewelry, EUR702 million, caused by lower online and wholesale sales of clothes and accessories.

Nonetheless, the Zurich listed company, which was founded in 1988, saw its revenues increase sharply across its retail segment, amid an 11% uptick in sales to retail customers, to EUR3.94 billion, across all lines of its business.

This uptick in retail sales offset lower sales across its online channels, which fell 5% to EUR356 million across the business as a whole. Richemont's wholesale businesses, meanwhile, saw their revenues increase 4% to EUR449 million.

The Geneva headquartered company saw its sharpest increase in Japan, where its sales jumped 18%, to EUR514 million, due in part to higher sales to Chinese tourists seeking to take advantage of Japan's weak yen.

Higher sales in Asia, in turn, offset a 3% drop in sales in Europe, to EUR1.22 billion, caused by a drop in tourist spending in the region.

An 8% uptick in Richemont's sales in the Americas, to EUR1.35 billion, and a 10% increase in sales in the Middle East, to EUR449 million, also worked to offset the lower sales in Europe.

-Louis Goss

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.


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01-18-24 0439ET

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