Luxury goods group Cie. Financiere Richemont said Friday that year-over-year sales for the six months of 2010 increased 37 percent to 3.26 billion euros ($4.47 billion). At constant exchange rates (excluding currency fluctuations and other conditions) the increase was 27 percent for the period ended September 30. When removing the company’s recent acquisition of Internet retailer Net-A-Porter.com, sales increased by 22 percent.
The Geneva-based company said the strong growth in sales reflects, in part, low comparative figures in the prior period, when reported Group sales decreased by 15 percent.
Profit for the period rose 87 percent to 644 million euros ($883 million) and operating profit increased by 95 percent.
Its jewelry business (which includes Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget) saw its sales increase 32 percent to 1.69 billion euros ($2.31 billion) for the period. Both Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels saw double-digit sales growth, Richemont said.
Watch sales (which include Vacheron Constantin, Baume & Mercier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lange & Söhne and IWC) rose 38 percent to 901 million euros ($1.23 billion).
Overall Group sales as measured by constant exchange rates increased 37 percent in the Americas, 36 percent in Asia-Pacific, 23 percent in Europe and 4 percent in Japan.
Johann Rupert, Richemont executive chairman and CEO, stressed that the strong sales figures benefited from favorable exchange rates and better economic conditions when compared to the post-recession prior year and cautioned that growth may slow during the second half of the year.
“The good performance achieved by Richemont in the first half of this year has been driven by a marked improvement in all business areas and across all geographies compared to the depressed levels seen last year,” Rupert said. “Richemont’s Maisons were able to benefit fully from this improved trading environment, further enhancing their leading positions in jewelry, watchmaking, writing instruments and accessories. … The robust sales momentum that the Group has seen for several months has continued through to the end of October; sales for the month were 36 per cent above those of October 2009 at actual exchange rates.”
He added, “For the second half of the financial year, we expect the high rate of growth in sales seen in the year to date to slow as a consequence of exchange rate movements and the more challenging prior year comparatives.”