Richemont Sales Slow in Fourth Quarter, as Group Names Nicolas Bos CEO

LONDON – Slowing demand for luxury goods hampered Compagnie Financière’s Richemont’s growth in the fiscal fourth quarter and full year. 

In the fourth quarter, the watches and jewelry giant posted a 1 percent decline in sales at actual rates, and a 3 percent rise in full-year sales to 20.62 billion euros. At constant exchange, fourth-quarter sales rose by 2 percent, while full-year sales were up 8 percent.

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert described the results as “solid,” and said the group was battling “unfavorable foreign exchange movements, demanding comparatives, and ongoing macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty. As usual, sales were driven by Richemont’s jewelry maisons, which include Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. 

Operating profit was 4.8 billion euros, down 5 percent at reported rates and up 13 percent at constant exchange rates.

In a separate statement, Richemont said that Nicolas Bos, currently chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels, has been named to the re-established role of CEO of Richemont, effective June 1. 

Bos will continue to report to Rupert, and will join the senior executive committee. In his new role, Bos will directly and indirectly oversee all the maisons, functions and regions, notably the jewelry maisons, finance and human resources. Jérôme Lambert will remain on the board and continue as chief operating officer, reporting to Bos.

At Richemont, sales at reported rates had been slowing throughout the year. 

As reported, in the third fiscal quarter, they rose 4 percent at actual exchange rates to 5.6 billion euros, bolstered by strong demand for jewelry in markets such as Japan, mainland China and North America.

At constant exchange, growth was 8 percent in the three-month period. Overall, growth in the third quarter was slower than in the first six months of the year, when Richemont saw revenue climb 6 percent at actual rates and 12 percent at constant ones.

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