Richemont has announced that its sales for the five months ended August 31 2010 increased by 37 percent at actual exchange rates. At constant exchange rates and excluding the impact on sales of the acquisition of Net-a-Porter.com in April 2010, sales increased by 22 percent. The Group acknowledges that its results reflect, in part, low sales figures for 2009.
Europe, including the Middle East, remains the Group’s most important region, accounting for 41 percent of overall sales. At constant exchange rates and excluding new businesses, sales in the European region increased by 15 percent. The Asia-Pacific region, including China, continued to report strong sales growth. The Americas region also reported strong growth, albeit compared to very weak comparative figures. Sales growth in Japan was largely due to favorable exchange rate effects.
Excluding the acquisition of Net-a-Porter, retail sales increased by 24 percent at constant exchange rates, reflecting strong growth in all regions. The Group’s wholesale business, which suffered in particular during the comparative period due to de-stocking by business partners in some markets, also reported strong growth. The proportion of retail sales has increased from 43 percent in the comparative period to 47 percent in the period under review.
All of Richemont’s brands or maisons benefited from the improved economic climate. The significant sales increase in the ‘Other’ segment principally reflected the acquisition of Net-a-Porter, as well as positive momentum generated by the Group’s fashion and accessories maisons, primarily at the retail level.
Commenting on the first five months sales, Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Johann Rupert, made the following statement:
“The improved trading environment is certainly welcomed. However, it is far too soon to draw any conclusions about the sustainability of the economic recovery or whether the recession is truly behind us.
This time last year we were still seeing falling sales. This year, with double-digit sales growth already in hand, Richemont will report significantly higher first half profit. However, the rest of the year is less straightforward. In the second half of last year, we saw some recovery in sales, setting higher comparative figures against which sales in the six months from October to March will be measured. Relative to the present conditions, those comparative figures were achieved with a weaker euro against the dollar and yen. Compared to the second half of last year, the current strength of the Swiss franc will be negative for the cost of sales.
While sales in the growth markets of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East continue to expand, sales in other regions remain below the record levels. This reflects the continuing difficulties in Western economies. These sales results highlight our Maisons’ strength in growth markets.
The Group is in a strong financial position. The net cash position at 31 August 2010 was € 1 900 million; broadly in line with the level at the beginning of the current financial year, despite our acquisition of Net-a-Porter.
Our strong balance sheet, continuing discipline and powerful Maisons allow us to face the foreseeable future with a degree of optimism.”