RICHEMONT REALIGNS ITS MANAGEMENT, REFLECTING STRONG RESULTS IN LUXURY
Byline: James Fallon
LONDON — Compagnie Financiere Richemont AG has reshuffled its management to focus on its luxury goods businesses, which include Cartier, Chloe, Alfred Dunhill and Montblanc. It also said the continuing improvement in Far Eastern demand led to strong growth in its luxury goods profits and sales in the first half ending Sept. 30.
Richemont appointed Alain Dominique Perrin senior executive director of the group, with responsibility for the development and implementation of all its marketing, manufacturing and strategic operations. Perrin previously was chief operating officer of Richemont’s subsidiary, the Vendome Luxury Group, where he had similar responsibilities. Perrin is based here.
All brand managers in Vendome now will report directly or indirectly to Perrin, who will report to Johann Rupert, chief executive of Richemont.
Franco Cologni, who was one of Perrin’s deputies, will become executive director of Richemont, responsible for development of its watch businesses. These include Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Vacheron Constantin and Panerai. He also will be chairman of the group’s product committee.
Vendome’s offices in Geneva will become responsible for providing and coordinating several central functions across all the operating companies within Richemont, including financial management, information technology, treasury and related logistics.
Callum Barton, currently managing director of Alfred Dunhill, will move to Geneva from London to become operations director of Richemont. He will report to Jan du Plessis, Richemont’s finance director.
Barton will be succeeded as chief executive of Dunhill by Guy Leymarie, currently managing director of retail and jewelry, worldwide operations, at Cartier in Paris. No successor has been named for Leymarie. Barton will assume the title of nonexecutive chairman of Dunhill while Richard Dunhill, currently nonexecutive chairman, will become life president.
The management reshuffle follows the decision by Joseph Kanoui, Vendome’s chairman, to retire at the end of January. The new appointments will be in place by that date, Richemont said.
The changes also follow the merger of Richemont’s tobacco businesses with those of British American Tobacco and the sale of its 15 percent shareholding in the French cable television channel Canal-Plus, both of which occurred earlier this year.
Perrin, Cologni, Barton and Leymarie, as well as Richard Lepeu, managing director of Cartier; Norbert Platt, managing director of Montblanc; Albert Kauffman, general counsel, and John P. Rupert, manufacturing director, will now all join the board of Richemont SA, the Luxembourg-based subsidiary of Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, which is based in Zug, Switzerland. Richemont SA will be the management board for the group, the company said.
Alan Quasha and Lord Douro, currently nonexecutive directors of Richemont SA and Vendome, will become nonexecutive directors of Compagnie Financiere Richemont AG.
Richemont Monday said its Vendome Luxury Group had a 35.8 percent increase in operating profits to $212.4 million on a 20.2 percent rise in sales to $1.3 billion for the first half. This compares with operating profits of $156.4 million on sales of $1.08 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.
The strongest growth came in the Far East, where sales leaped 42.7 percent to $500.7 million from $350.9 million. Sales in the Americas, including the U.S., increased by 18.6 percent to $264.8 million from $223.4 million.
The highest increases were registered in other non-gold and jewelry watches, writing instruments, leather goods and men’s wear. Sales of nongold and jewelry watches rose 46.6 percent to $318.9 million from $217.5 million as a result of launches of steel watch lines by Cartier and Baume & Mercier during the first half.
Sales of writing instruments rose 19.6 percent to $105.9 million from $88.6 million because of new introductions at Montblanc, while leather goods sales increased 19.3 percent to $119.2 million from $99.7 million because of stronger demand in the Far East. Men’s wear sales, which were up 16.7 percent to $62 million from $53.1 million, benefited from improving collections at Alfred Dunhill as well as stronger growth at Hackett and Sulka, Richemont said in a statement.