LONDON — A pickup in European sales, growth in the U.S. and a solid performance at Cartier drove sales at Compagnie Financière Richemont up 9 percent in the third quarter ended Dec. 31.
Richemont said in a statement Friday that sales would have risen 13 percent at constant exchange rates, and the combination of the powerful euro and weak dollar stunted growth rates in the quarter.
The company — whose brands also include Chloé, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill — provided percentage changes only and will release full results on June 9 for the fiscal year ending March 31.
As the quarter and calendar year came to an end, the company’s Cartier unit shined not only in the showroom, but in the courtroom as well. On Dec. 21, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Griesa awarded Cartier a default judgment against more than 30 named defendants in a counterfeiting case that has stretched over two years. According to the ruling, the defendants failed to respond to the lawsuit and have been ordered to pay Cartier millions in statutory damages and legal fees.
Sales in Europe rose 12 percent, due to the return of tourists and renewed domestic demand. In France, sales increased by 17 percent, and in Italy they rose by 10 percent. Sales of jewelry, watches and writing instruments were particularly strong, the statement said.
In the Americas, sales rose 6 percent, and by 15 percent at constant exchange rates. The statement said the weakness of the dollar dented growth. Richemont’s jewelry houses and Dunhill reported double-digit growth at constant rates.
In Asia-Pacific, sales rose 8 percent, and 16 percent at constant rates. In Japan, sales rose 5 percent, and in China they increased by 49 percent at constant rates.
In general, retail sales worldwide increased by 9 percent, while wholesale sales rose by 8 percent in the quarter.
Watch sales rose 10 percent, jewelry sales rose 7 percent, and writing instrument sales grew 9 percent in the quarter. Leather and accessories sales were flat at actual exchange rates but rose 4 percent at constant rates.
The statement said sales at Cartier and Van Cleef grew 12 percent at constant exchange rates and benefitted from “exceptional sales” of a handful of high-end jewelry pieces. Watches, especially Cartier’s steel Santos Demoiselle and models by Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC, performed well, the company said. With regard to Richemont’s other businesses, which include Chloé, Hackett, Purdey and Old England, sales rose 28 percent. The company said sales at Chloé were particularly strong, thanks to the expansion of the company’s global retail presence.
Analysts across the board said they were impressed with what they called “strong” results. “I think the results proved that the industry trends overall are good, and there is no slowdown,” said Antoine Belge, luxury analyst at HSBC in Paris. “Cartier is definitely making a comeback, and there is plenty of room for future growth from specialist watchmakers like IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre.”
Jacques-Franck Dossin, analyst at Goldman Sachs, said in his note that the next fiscal year, which begins on April 1, would be a strong one for the group.
Meanwhile, earlier in the week, a Richemont spokesman denied an ongoing rumor that the company has put Hackett, the London-based men’s wear company, up for sale. “We’re not very good at selling brands. It’s not in our nature,” said Alan Grieve, director of corporate communications at Richemont. “We have our reasons for holding on to our brands. It’s not just about ego. Clearly, we believe they have a future.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)