Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A., the world's second largest luxury goods holding company, has warned of the impact that global economic problems could have if they hit the industry. However, the maker of Cartier watches and Piaget collection of jewelery reported a 10 percent increase in its first-half net income. Furthermore, the company forecasts stronger full-year operating profits, as compared to the previous year.
Richemont's financial position continues to be strong: the Group's net cash position is € 2.6 billion, stated Johann Rupert, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The sales trend of the first six months of the year has continued through to the end of October; sales for the month were 28 percent above those of October 2010 at actual exchange rates. At constant exchange rates, they were 26 percent higher, with good momentum in both the retail and wholesale sales channels.
Currently, the Swiss holding company sells luxury goods under 19 brands, including A. Lange & Söhne (watches), Chloé (women's clothing) and Montblanc International GmbH (writing instruments and watches). The company's sales during the first half were mainly boosted by strong demand from countries like China, Hong Kong, Russia and the Middle East.
China is currently regarded as the third largest market for Richemont products, after Hong Kong and the U.S. Despite the impact of the March earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese have accounted for an 8 percent increase in sales.