Jewelry, Watch Sales Bolster Richemont’s Q1

FinancialsJul 16, 2021

Jewelry, Watch Sales Bolster Richemont’s Q1

Plus, the changes to Richemont’s senior executive committee and board of directors.

Richemont headquarters in Geneva, designed by architect Jean Nouvel. The luxury titan’s quarterly sales were up 121 percent year-over-year, with jewelry and watch sales putting on a strong performance. (Image courtesy of Richemont)
Geneva—Richemont’s first-quarter sales surged, exceeding pre-pandemic levels, driven by strong jewelry sales and the Americas.
The luxury titan posted a 121 percent increase year-over-year in quarterly sales at actual exchange rates of €4.39 billion ($5.19 billion) compared with €3.74 billion ($4.41 billion) in 2020.
Sales also exceeded pre-pandemic levels in most areas, up 18 percent year-over-year.
The boost in sales was led by its jewelry houses and specialist watchmakers, said Richemont.
Sales in Richemont’s jewelry division, which includes Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, were up 142 percent at constant and actual exchange rates, reaching €2.52 billion ($2.97 billion) compared with €1.08 billion ($1.28 billion) a year ago.
Sales in Richemont’s specialist watchmakers division were up 143 percent to €849 million ($1 billion) compared with €359 million ($423.5 million) in 2020.
Breaking it down by region, the Americas gave the strongest performance, with local demand driving sales up 276 percent.
In second place was the Middle East and Africa, with sales up 154 percent, followed by Japan (138 percent), Europe (108 percent), and Asia Pacific (96 percent).
Retail sales at Richemont-owned and -operated boutiques were up 138 percent.

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Wholesale sales were up 178 percent in the quarter while online retail sales were up 67 percent.
The company did not hold an earnings call or provide financial guidance for the year ahead.
Following a review of its governance, Richemont has made some changes to its executive board.
The Senior Executive Committee will focus on strategic direction, capital allocation, and other functions to benefit the business while the executives in charge of the various brands will zero in on sustainable development, a customer-focused approach, and growing digital initiatives.
“The continual evolution of our corporate governance structures reflects our commitment to meet the changing demands of our operating environment most efficiently and align with best practice,” said Chairman Johan Rupert in a press release about the results.
To focus on these new responsibilities, Cyrille Vigneron, president and chief executive of Cartier, and Nicolas Bos, president and chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels, will step down from the Senior Executive Committee and will not seek re-election to the board of directors.
Philippe Fortunato, CEO of fashion and accessories, Emmanuel Perrin, head of the specialist watchmakers distribution, and Frank Vivier, chief transformation officer, will also step down from the Senior Executive Committee.
The changes go into effect Sept. 8 with all executives still reporting to Rupert, and maintaining their roles.
Rupert, Jérôme Lambert and Chief Financial Officer Burkhart Grund will remain on the Senior Executive Committee and be up for re-election to the board of directors at the annual general meeting.
Alan Quasha, who has served as non-executive director of the company and its predecessor companies since the Group’s foundation in 1988, will not seek reelection to the board.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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