Following 2022 with impressive growth for the industry (a record year for exports) for luxury groups involved in watchmaking and jewellery (LVMH, Swatch), indicators and analysts were not so confident regarding the outlook for 2023. Growing inflation, geo-political tensions and a potential economic contraction could have led to lower sales. However, following the announcement by LVMH and Swatch Group of their Q1 or Half-Year sales (respectively +17% and +18%), it’s now time for Richemont Group to disclose its sales figures for its first quarter, which ended 30 June 2023. And here again, sales are up by a solid +14%, with jewellery as the main driver of growth.
For the first three months of its fiscal year (Richemont closes the books on 1 April), the Group reports sales up by 19% at constant exchange rates or 14% at actual exchange rates, thus exceeding the 12% sales increase of the prior-year period. Sales are reported at EUR 5,322 million for this quarter versus EUR 4,654 million for the same period in 2022. Richemont also reports that the sales progression was driven by double-digit increases in almost all regions, excluding the Americas, where sales decreased by 2%. On the other side of the globe, the Group is reporting a strong rebound in Asia Pacific (excl. Japan), the strongest regional performance with sales up by 40%. This situation is mainly due to the removal of Covid-related restrictions and the reopening of borders in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR in January 2023. Europe remains strong, too, with sales up by 11%, driven by resilient domestic demand and tourist spending, mainly from American, Middle Eastern and, more recently, Chinese clients.
Richemont is a group involved in multiple activities, but jewellery is the primary driver of sales – accounting for about two-thirds of the turnover. The Group’s three Jewellery brands – Buccellati, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels – posted the strongest performance, with sales up by 24%, while Specialist Watchmakers grew comparatively, in the same period, by only 10%. Richemont indicates that A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin outperformed in this period.
It will be interesting to see the upcoming results of LVMH and Swatch Group to see if this growth is sustainable or if the effect of China’s rebound will end. For more details, please visit www.richemont.com.