Sales at Richemont’s jewelry brands increased 10% in the first fiscal quarter, as lower value-added tax and customs duties drove purchases in mainland China, the luxury retailer said Thursday.
Proceeds from the group’s largest product category — which comprises Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels — rose to EUR 1.83 billion ($2.05 billion) in the three months ending June 30. At constant exchange rates, jewelry sales climbed 7%.
Sales at Richemont’s watchmaker brands grew 1% to EUR 823 million ($924.9 million), but fell 2% in local currency, as protests in Hong Kong — the largest export market for Swiss watches — resulted in store closures and decreased tourism to the area. Shipments of timepieces to the municipality decreased 27% in June, according to data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. In addition, Richemont delayed the introduction of new watch products until the July-to-September period, whereas last year it held the launches in the April-to-June period. That affected the timing of sales, and impacted figures for the quarter.
Group revenue climbed 12% to EUR 3.74 billion ($4.2 billion), as growth in Japan, Asia Pacific and the Americas outweighed decreases in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.