RICHEMONT GROUP releases improving financial results

Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods group, released today its audited results for the year that ended on March 31st 2010. According to the press release, the group’s overall sales have declined by 4% and are at a value of €5176 million and its gross profit has dropped by 7% to €3191 million for 2010. However, the cash flow from the operations has grown considerably with €819 million reaching €1464 million this year and the same thing applies to the net cash position, which has improved to €1896 million, with a growth of €1074 million.

The Executive Chairman and CEO of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, Mr. Johann Rupert has stated that: ‘Richemont has weathered the economic crisis to date and is in a strong financial position. Our businesses reacted quickly and positively to the downturn in demand and have grown market share. On behalf of shareholders, I would like to thank all of Richemont’s employees, around the world, for the commitment and dedication that they have shown to the Group during these difficult times. We are ready to capitalise on growth opportunities in new markets and to meet demand in established markets once the economic situation improves. Key drivers of the Group’s future success will be innovation and creativity, which have always been hallmarks of the Maisons. There will still be plenty of challenges ahead but I am confident that Richemont’s Maisons will surmount them.’  

The last 18 months have been quite tough on the brands under the Richemont umbrella, experiencing serious drops in sales at the height of the financial crisis. The Americas and Europe were the regions in which the sales lowered the most, especially in the watch sector, with brands such as Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Baume & Mercier seriously underperforming. However, to the advantage of the group, the Asia-Pacific region has not been affected by the crisis nearly as much as expected. The brands of Richemont Group already had a solid position on the Asian market, so that proved to be their main pillar of resistance during the crisis. Now that considerable improvements are starting to show in the group’s financial records, they plan to further and consolidate their expansion in mainland China.