A Cartier store, operated by Richemont, is illuminated at night in Shanghai, China. Picture: BLOOMBERG
A Cartier store, operated by Richemont, is illuminated at night in Shanghai, China. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Johann Rupert’s Richemont, the luxury goods group that owns the Cartier brand, said on Friday double digit sales growth in China and Korea helped offset declining sales in Japan and Hong Kong, with sales rising 6% in the company’s third quarter to end-December.

Sales grew 4% at constant exchange rates compared to the prior comparative period, with temporary store closures in Hong Kong weighing on that market.

Sales in China and Korea grew by double digits, the group said, offsetting a “severe sales contraction” in Hong Kong.

Protests in the wealthy city have hit retail sales, with Bloomberg reporting on Tuesday that Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, the world’s second-most valuable jewellery chain, planned to shut 15 of its Hong Kong stores after their leases expire in 2020.

Richemont said on Friday sales in Japan decreased 7%, hit by lower tourist spending due to a strong Japanese yen,

Sales for the nine month period to end-December had increased 5% at constant exchange rates, the company said, saying its net cash position at the end of December stood at €2.4bn (R38bn), from €2.3bn previously.

In morning trade on Friday, Richemont's share price was up 3.01% to R118.03, a two-month high.  With Bloomberg

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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