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A Cartier store is seen in Hong Kong. File photo: BLOOMBERG/LAM YIK
A Cartier store is seen in Hong Kong. File photo: BLOOMBERG/LAM YIK

Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods group controlled by Johann Rupert, says strong demand for jewellery in the Americas and Middle East helped sales grow by a third in the three months to end-December, also boosted in part by a partial return of tourism spending.

Group sales of €5.66bn (R99bn) in Richemont’s third quarter were up 32% in constant currency terms year on year, and up 38% from 2019.

Richemont’s iconic brands include Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Mont Blanc and Piaget, and the global luxury goods market benefited in 2021 from pent-up demand as global economies opened up with the ramp-up in vaccination programmes.

The strongest growth was generated in the Middle East and Africa, with sales up 65%, benefiting from increased domestic demand and higher tourist spend driven by Expo 2020 Dubai and the year-end holiday season. The Dubai expo had been delayed by Covid-19, and continues until the end of March 2022.

Sales in the Americas rose 59%, supported by strong local demand, followed by Asia Pacific, with a 47% sales increase, while sales in Europe were up 12%.

Sales growth in Europe reflected solid domestic sales across the region that more than compensated for lower tourism spend compared with two years ago, notwithstanding clients from the Middle East and the US progressively returning to Europe, notably France, Richemont said.

In Japan, the surge in local demand led to a 23% sales increase after two declining quarters.

In morning trade on Wednesday Richemont's shares had jumped 6.33% to R241.83, on track for their best day in just over two months. The group's shares have more than doubled since the beginning of 2020, and Richemont's value rose above R1-trillion in 2021.

Updated: January 19 2021
This article has been updated with additional information.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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