Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

Richemont’s investor presentations are always made a little more interesting when chair and controlling shareholder Johann Rupert is in attendance.I’m not a Richemont shareholder — and would probably prefer to snap up the luxury group’s stock closer to the R85 level (which might be wishful thinking). But I have long been closely monitoring Richemont’s determined shift into online retailing — which has largely been driven through the Yoox-Net-a-Porter (YNAP) hub.So far the investment in Net-a-Porter — and subsequent merger to create YNAP — has not built huge shareholder value on the financial statements. Rupert contends it is a good investment.That might not be evident in the numbers yet, but is apparent that so much of Richemont’s longer-term prospects seem to hinge on this venture — and this has been further highlighted by the pandemic.Rupert’s recent comments on online retailing — especially into the key Chinese markets — are telling: "Are we aggressive enough? All I can say is we...

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