Luxury group Richemont, owner of the Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry brands, recorded a 10% rise in jewelry and watch sales for the year ended 31 March 2019. Jewelry sales saw progression in all regions and in all channels, with double digit increases in Asia Pacific - particularly in China - and the Americas, while watch sales increased in most regions with double-digit growth in retail, reflecting strong client demand. Jewelry and watches represent Richemont's two largest product lines at 36% and 35% of group sales, respectively. The Jewellery Maisons, after the inclusion of online distributors, accounted for 51% of group sales. Including its recently acquired online distribution systems like YNAP and Watchfinder, Richemont's sales grew by 27% to €13.99 billion ($15.64 billion), while profit more than doubled to €2.79 billion ($3.11 billion) from €1.22 billion ($1.36 billion) a year ago.
The luxury group attributes the 8% retail sales growth to the double-digit increases at its Jewellery Maisons and Specialist Watchmakers. The strong performance in retail benefited from the reopening of renovated stores under the new retail concept at Cartier and three net new stores at Van Cleef & Arpels. There was also high growth in online sales, both on the Maisons websites and through the offering of several collections on NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER. The Jewellery Maisons' operating results rose by 16% to €2.229 billion ($2.49 billion), and increased by 16% compared to the prior year. The group attributed this €303 million ($338m) improvement largely to to higher sales, manufacturing efficiency gains, relatively favorable Swiss franc and good cost control, which more than offset investments in retail and communication.