The Chinese jewelry behemoth said Monday that retail sales for the three months ended Dec. 31 grew 7 percent in mainland China but fell 6 percent in Hong Kong and Macau. Similarly, same-store sales growth in mainland China itself grew 4 percent while comps in Hong Kong and Macau fell 2 percent. The firm did not disclose profit figures.
The company said the drop in Hong Kong and Macau was improving “sequentially due to stabilizing fundamentals and a relatively low base of comparison.” The figures come as no surprise. Initial feedback from Christmas sales in Hong Kong was mixed, while the latest official government data showed that the decline in November retail sales across the city widened to 5.5 percent, ending several months of steady improvement.
The percentage of Chow Tai Fook sales settled by China UnionPay and in renminbi — a proxy for sales by mainland Chinese tourists — was 47 percent, down from 51 percent at the same period last year but 2 percentage points higher than the first half of the financial year.
The company’s e-commerce operations in mainland China grew by 25 percent in the third quarter although still contributes a tiny 4 percent of mainland Chinese sales.
Gold and platinum products dominated sales, accounting for 70 percent, while the rest were distributed over gem-set jewelry and watches. It was helped by the rising price of gold which surged 10 percent in the quarter compared to the same time last year.