Strong watches demand boosts Richemont H1 profit


November, 2010 – Cartier watchmaker Richemont said strong demand for high-end watches in Asia and the Americas bolstered first-half profit, which beat expectations.
Its April-September net profit nearly doubled to 644 million euros ($888 million), beating analysts’ estimates and helped by a revaluation gain on its acquisition of online fashion retailer Net-a-porter. Richemont’s financial year runs to end-March.

Luxury groups have seen sales rebound strongly from their worst slump in decades and Swiss watch exports have soared this year, with Hong Kong, where mainland Chinese love to shop, still a prime export destination for Swiss watches.

Richemont said growth picked up in October with sales rising 25 percent excluding currency swings and the Net-a-porter acquisition. Comparable first-half growth was 22 percent.
Net-a-porter, which Richemont acquired earlier this year, generated sales of 120 million euros and can grow significantly in the future, the group said.