Compagnie Financière Richemont SA reported an 18 percent uptick in full-year net profits on the back of strong sales of luxury watches and jewelry, as well as healthy growth in Europe and Asia.
The world's second biggest luxury goods group said profits for the year ended March 31 reached 1.57 billion euros, or $2.2 billion, up from 1.3 billion euros, or $1.87 billion, the previous year. Dollar figures have been converted at average exchange.
The company attributed growth to sustained demand for brands within its specialist watchmaking division, which includes IWC, Jaeger-Le Coultre and Panerai. Sales at the division spiked 15 percent to 1.37 billion euros, or $1.93 billion. Meanwhile, sales at Richemont's jewelry houses, which include Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, rose 9 percent to 2.65 billion euros, or $3.73 billion.
The company also highlighted the performance of the Asia-Pacific region, despite a negative impact from currency fluctuations. The region, which represents 25 percent of group sales, registered a rise of 21 percent in revenues. The company said growth was particularly strong in Mainland China and Hong Kong.
Overall, full-year sales at Richemont grew 10 percent to 5.3 billion euros, or $7.4 billion, from 4.8 billion euros, or $6.8 billion.
"Richemont's performance during the past year has demonstrated its capacity to weather the challenging economic environment," said Johann Rupert, executive chairman of Richemont, Thursday. "We see the global market for true luxury goods as continuing to expand, as customers seek more sophisticated, authentic and elegant products."
Compared with the performance of the group's jewelry and watch houses, sales at Chloé inched up only marginally. While Richemont didn't break out figures for the fashion brand, it said sales were broadly in line with the previous 12 months. Slower growth at Chloé is in stark contrast to the previous financial year when turnover shot up 50 percent thanks to an expanded retail network.
"It's not unusual at a fashion house for an individual collection to be not as well received by the customer [as] the year before," said Norbert Platt, group chief executive of Richemont, during a conference call to discuss the results. "Part of the reason was that we felt the previous designer [Paulo Melim Andersson] was not focusing on the true DNA of Chloé, we've not seen growth [in the line]. We're making changes in design for the next collection to come."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast