Swiss luxury goods group Richemont said on Monday it has appointed Stanislas de Quercize to take over from Bernard Fornas as chief executive of top-of-the-range jewellery and watch maker Cartier.

De Quercize, current CEO of Richemont subsidiary Van Cleef & Arpels, will replace Fornas at the end of the year, when he is due to retire, Richemont said.

Cartier, which is expanding rapidly in emerging markets such as Brazil and China, is the largest of Richemont's luxury brands, which also include Vacheron Constantin, IWC and Montblanc.

Losing someone of Fornas' stature is going to be difficult - he did much to build Cartier's momentum over the last decade, improving profitability and growth, said Kepler analyst Jon Cox, who noted that Cartier represents half of group sales and two-thirds of operating profit.

But Cox also said De Quercize had turned Van Cleef & Arpels around since his appointment, making the brand profitable and growing its credibility with buyers of high-end jewellery.

He has been with the group a long time, knows Cartier from his time there - so the brand looks in good hands.

(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto. Editing by Jane Merriman)