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Richemont's FY Sales +29%, Profit +43%

May 16, 2012 7:31 AM   By Dilipp S Nag
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RAPAPORT... Richemont reported that group sales rose 29 percent year on year to $11.39 billion (EUR 8.87 billion) during the retailer's fiscal year that ended on March 31. Revenue growth was driven by higher demand from the Asia-Pacific region, new product launches and store openings. Richemont maintained its gross profit margin of 63.7 percent and operating margin improved 330 basis points to 23 percent.  Profit rose 43 percent to $2 billion (EUR 1.54 billion).

“Richemont has achieved strong sales growth across all segments and all geographic regions, despite a volatile and diverse economic environment,” said Johann Rupert, Richemont’s chairman.

The luxury group reported that sales in the Asia-Pacific jumped 46 percent at constant exchange rates to $4.73 billion (EUR 3.68 billion) during the period due to selective expansion of its retail network in recent years. In Europe, sales rose by 20 percent to $3.98 billion (EUR 3.10 billion) helped by the growing number of travelers from other parts of the world.

Sales across the America’s grew 30 percent to $1.61 billion (EUR 1.25 billion) while in Japan revenue rose by 9 percent to $1.07 billion (EUR 833 million).

Sales at Richemont’s jewelry brands, which include Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, rose 32 percent to $5.90 billion (EUR 4.59 billion). Sales at its watchmakers increased 31 percent to $2.98 billion (EUR 2.32 billion).

Richemont stated that the boutique openings during the year were primarily in high-growth markets, such as Mainland China. The company directly operated 948 boutiques worldwide at the end of March, compared with 876 one year earlier.

Rupert noted that the group is mindful of the unstable economic environment, particularly in the euro zone and it will focus on selective boutique openings in growth markets and in tourist destinations around the world.

He added that Richemont is convinced of the resilience and long-term prospects of its jewelry maisons and therefore looks forward with “cautious optimism.”

The group announced a share buy-back plan for up to 10 million Richemont A shares, representing 1.7 percent of the capital, through the market over the next two years.
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Tags: asia, Cartier, Dilipp S Nag, Europe, Japan, Jewelry, Johann Rupert, luxury, luxury goods, Rapaport, retail, Richemont, US, Van Cleef and Arpels
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