Jewelry Was the Strongest Performer in Richemont’s Q3
Buccellati, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels propelled the luxury titan to its highest quarterly sales total ever.
For the third quarter ended Dec. 31, Richemont posted sales of €5.59 billion ($6.09 billion), a 4 percent year-over-year increase at actual exchange rates.
The results marked the company’s highest quarterly sales total ever, Richemont Chief Financial Officer Burkhart Grund said on an earnings call last week.
For the nine-month period, sales were up 5 percent at actual exchange rates to €15.81 billion ($17.22 billion).
The luxury titan said it performed well in the third quarter in spite of a “continued uncertain macroeconomic and geopolitical environment.”
Sales in all regions, except Europe, increased at actual exchange rates compared with the prior period, led by Asia-Pacific and Japan, with sales up 8 percent in both regions.
In the Americas, Richemont’s second largest market by revenue percentage as of Q3, sales were up 3 percent at actual exchange rates.
Looking at its distribution channels, retail sales were up 6 percent year-over-year.
Online sales slipped 9 percent though the jewelry brands were relatively resilient with “notable growth” in online sales for Buccellati, said Grund.
Wholesale sales and royalty income were flat, with Richemont noting that, “growth at the jewelry maisons more than offset softness in the two other business areas.”
Richemont’s jewelry brands, Buccellati, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels, saw sales increase 6 percent year-over-year.
The brands “generated the strongest sales increase, underpinned by solid jewelry and watch sales,” said Richemont, with jewelry sales up by double digits in most regions, particularly Asia-Pacific and Japan.
Store openings bolstered sales, including a new Buccellati store in Hangzhou, China; a Van Cleef & Arpels in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and the new Cartier store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood.
Cartier’s “Trinity” and “Grain de Café” performed well as did “Fauna” by Van Cleef & Arpels, and Buccellati’s “Opera Tulle” and “Ramage.”
Richemont’s watch brands are: A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, and Vacheron Constantin.
Sales of these brands slipped 1 percent in the third quarter, but saw double-digit growth in the retail channel, offsetting lower wholesale and online sales.
In particular, A. Lange & Söhne, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin had strong retail performances, offsetting a double-digit decline in wholesale sales.
“Overall, the quarter was driven by double-digit growth at Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Söhne,” said Grund.
There were new store openings for Richemont’s watch brands as well, including Vacheron Constantin in Munich, “Casa Panerai” in Milan, and the first directly owned store for A. Lange & Söhne in Paris on Rue de la Paix.
Richemont also addressed the status of its online fashion retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) after scrapping plans to sell part of YNAP to luxury e-tailer Farfetch in December.
“Having parted ways with Farfetch free of any financial commitments, our maisons and YNAP continue to operate on their own platforms and technology, while we are reviewing the strategic options aimed at finding a new controlling shareholder for YNAP that can best harness its strengths and potential.
“YNAP thus remains an ‘asset held for sale’,” said Grund.
Richemont did not provide guidance for the fourth quarter or full year.
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