Richemont’s first-quarter sales fell by nearly half with double-digit declines across all regions, categories, and distribution channels amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The luxury titan posted a 47 percent drop year-over-year in quarterly sales at actual and constant exchange rates to just under €2 billion ($2.27 billion) compared with €3.74 billion ($4.27 billion) in 2019.
The decline in sales is the result of “unprecedented levels of disruption,” said Richemont, which led to store closures, a halt in tourism and a dip in consumer sentiment.
Richemont’s online distributors and jewelry maisons both fared better than other categories in the first quarter ended June 30.
Sales in Richemont’s jewelry division, which includes Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, were down 41 percent at constant and actual exchange rates, reaching €1.08 billion($1.24 billion) compared with €1.83 billion ($2.09 billion) a year ago.
The Asia-Pacific region saw a lower rate of decline than other areas, with sales in China up 68 percent over the period, due in part to increased online and in-store spending.
Richemont also credited the increase to the recently opened virtual Cartier flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, a website operated by Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group.
Milan-based jewelry brand Buccellati recently debuted a new ad campaign paying homage to Italian history, starring aristocrat and journalist Beatrice Borromeo.
Sales in Richemont’s specialist watchmakers division sank 56 percent to €359 million($409.7 million) compared with €823 million ($939.3 million) in 2019.
Photo © Buccellati.