TIME FOR A CHANGE: Richemont has confirmed a slew of management changes in its watch division flagged on Thursday by Luca Solca of Exane BNP Paribas. His note comes ahead of Compagnie Financière Richemont’s full-year results, which will be announced on May 18.
The parent of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Dunhill has made a series of internal promotions: Geoffroy Lefebvre, interim chief executive officer of Jaeger-LeCoultre, will leave that brand to become head of Baume & Mercier. Baume & Mercier ceo Alain Zimmermann has been promoted to head of digital marketing for watches.
Catherine Renier, president of Van Cleef & Arpels Asia-Pacific, will head Jaeger-LeCoultre, while Jean-Marc Pontroue is leaving Roger Dubuis to head Panerai. The new ceo of Roger Dubuis has yet to be named. Solca cited the Swiss watch and jewelry trade title Business Montres as the source.
In his note, Solca was bullish about the Swiss luxury group’s future prospects, saying that in a buoyant luxury goods environment, “we think that hard luxury should benefit from a late cyclical peak, as watch retailers go back to writing orders.”
He said order books are up 10 to 20 percent, and the improvement in watches and continuing strength in jewelry should support Richemont’s share price performance.
“Further inventory buybacks in watches are a short-term risk to wholesale growth, but should be taken in stride by the market, if retail organic growth is still strong and/or accelerates. We think this is the most likely scenario,” Solca wrote.