Cartier store front in Shanghai. Shutterstock.
Shares in the Swiss group that owns Cartier rose nearly 6 percent after the group proposed to double its dividend and flagged strong current trading, with “accelerating trends across all business areas.” In the key Mainland Chinese market, sales more than doubled during the 12-weeks ending March 31, Richemont said. Total revenues for the quarter jumped 36 percent year-on-year (excluding currency shifts), beating analysts’ estimates.
”Underlying demand seems strong with supportive central bank actions, substantial government stimulus packages, and real estate and stock markets at all-time highs,” Richemont’s chairman Johann Rupert said in a statement. But “concerning” developments in the pandemic mean “we will need to learn how to live with the virus probably for much longer than we had hoped,” he added.
During the past 12 months, Richemont’s jewellery brands’ sales rose 3 percent, above pre-Covid levels. Sales of watches took a harder hit, falling 21 percent. The division owning fashion brands Dunhill and Chloé reported a 25 percent drop.
The e-commerce division that operates Yoox Net-a-Porter saw twelve-month sales fall 9 percent. The division now plans to transition to relying less on wholesale, adding more “e-concessions” from top brands in order to “to enrich the breadth of their offering with very light additional capital commitment,” Rupert said.