LONDON - Net earnings at luxury goods group Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA surged 21 percent to 1.3 billion euro, or $1.7 billion, from 1.1 billion euro, or $1.5 billion, thanks to vigorous sales of jewelry and watches in the fiscal year ended March 31.

Stripping out the annual gains from British American Tobacco, where Richemont holds a 19 percent stake, profit growth at the company would have been 29 percent to 789 million euro, or $1.1 billion, from 610 million euro, or $817 million.

Johann Rupert, executive chairman of Richemont, which owns brands including Cartier, Dunhill and Chloe, called the year’s performance “excellent,” and said the global market for luxury goods was expanding and the outlook for the current fiscal year is positive.

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