// Cartier parent company Richemont reveals business slowdown due to French protests
// Quarterly underlying sales growth in China remains strong
Richemont has blamed the ongoing “yellow vests” protests within France for the slowdown in its quarterly underlying sales.
The Swiss retail group, which owns luxury jewellery retailer Cartier as well as Dunhill and Net-A-Porter, posted a five per cent rise in sales at constant currencies for the third quarter ending December 31.
This excluded sales from recently-acquired online retailers Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) and Watchfinder.
While it was in line with consensus estimates cited by analysts, the result was a slowdown from the eight per cent growth in the half-year period to the end of September.
Richemont said the anti-government protests in France in the lead-up to Christmas “negatively impacted tourism and led to store closures for six consecutive Saturdays”.
However, revenues grew 10 per cent in its Asia Pacific markets, driven by a steady rise in Chinese spending.
When factoring in YNAP and Watchfinder, Richemont’s sales climbed up by 24 per cent at constant currencies, in line with average analyst forecasts compiled by Reuters.
“Sales grew in all regions, with the exception of the Middle East and Europe,” Richemont said.
“Sales in Europe were affected by social unrest in France which negatively impacted tourism and led to store closures for six consecutive Saturdays.”
Richemont is the first global luxury firm to unveil its trading update for the crucial final three months of the year.
Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH is slated to unveil its results on January 29.