By  on May 12, 2017

LONDON – In a difficult year for Compagnie Financière Richemont, parent of brands including Cartier, IWC and Van Cleef & Arpels, profits slid 45.6 percent to 1.21 billion euros, or $1.33 billion, as sales fell in the single digits.In the year to March 31, sales were down 3.9 percent to 10.65 billion euros, or $11.72 billion, as the company struggled with a difficult watch market and endeavored to fine-tune distribution and the store network. As reported, the second half showed signs of improvement, with a rebound in Mainland China and the U.S.The company said that growth in jewelry, leather goods and writing instruments partly mitigated weak wholesale sales in the 12-month period. Cartier watches and specialist high-end watches were impacted by exceptional buy-backs and capacity-adjustment measures. Montblanc, Chloé and Peter Millar reported good progress, the company said.

Dollar figures have been calculated at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.

Richemont shares dropped 5.2 percent to 81.45 Swiss francs, or $80.79, following the announcement, while financial analysts called the slowdown in fourth-quarter sales growth disappointing.

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