LONDON — Compagnie Financière Richemont may have witnessed a strong start to fiscal 2017-18 — but no one is tossing the confetti just yet.In the first five months, strong jewelry sales and easier comparisons with the previous year drove growth at Richemont, parent of brands including Cartier, IWC and Van Cleef & Arpels, up 10 percent.The company said in a trading update that sales grew 12 percent at constant rates for the April to August period. Stripping out the impact of exceptional inventory buy-backs of watches in the comparative period last year, constant currency sales increased by 7 percent.Following a difficult year that involved layoffs, watch buybacks, retail and wholesale readjustment and patchy demand in China, growth appears to be getting back on track. The company said sales increased in all regions, led by Asia-Pacific, which saw a 22 percent increase.China and Hong Kong notched double-digit increases, Richemont said. They were the same markets where the group had bought back a large part of the watch inventory last year after demand for top-tier timepieces ground to a halt.Growth in Europe was 3 percent, marked by the “emerging negative impact of a strong euro on tourist spending,” while in the U.K., sales grew in the double digits, benefiting from favorable currency movements.In Japan, growth reflected higher domestic and tourist spending, while sales in the Middle East showed subdued growth, impacted by geopolitical uncertainties.The 11 percent increase in wholesale sales primarily reflected the impact of the nonrecurrence of the exceptional inventory buy-backs. By category, jewelry showed the highest growth, climbing 16 percent, while the watch category was up 6 percent.Growth in the first five months of fiscal 2017-18 was in stark contrast to last year when sales fell 3.9 percent to 10.65 billion euros, and profits slid 45.6 percent to 1.21 billion euros. The second half of last year had already begun to show signs of improvement, with a rebound in mainland China and the U.S.In a flash statement following Wednesday's trading update, Luca Solca of Exane BNP Paribas emphasized that the results reflected a “significant one-off effect” from the watch inventory buy-backs.“The trend is good, watches sell-out in Asia and Hong Kong is turning positive — but this is more of a step-by-step progress than a V-shaped recovery,” he said. In a separate note, Barclays called the Richemont recovery strong, also noting that exchange rate fluctuations had dragged down growth by 2 percent.While Vontobel was upbeat about the five-month results, it said Richemont will see a sales slowdown in the second half as that period will no longer compare as favorably with the corresponding period last year. The inventory buy-backs had occurred in the first half of last year.The bank added that due to strong growth in jewelry, it plans to increase its estimates for the year and reiterated its "buy" rating on the stock.Richemont’s annual general meeting took place in Geneva on Wednesday, and the company said that shareholders had approved the results for the year, including the proposals of the board of directors.As reported, the company’s chairman Johann Rupert has stacked the board with a new generation of directors, many of whom are young, tech-savvy and female.The company also confirmed that Georges Kern’s successor as head of watchmaking at Richemont had not yet been named. As reported, Kern left Richemont over the summer to become chief executive officer of Breitling as well as a shareholder in the company.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews