Richemont’s 2022 Jewelry Sales in the Americas Nearly Double
Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Buccellati put on stellar performances.
The luxury conglomerate, which owns high-end brands like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, said all of its brands, channels, and regions posted double-digit growth.
“Increased inflationary pressures and repeated temporary store closures due to health protection measures were offset by relatively improved economies up until February 2022,” said Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert.
Here are five key takeaways from its recent earnings report.
Richemont had a record year.
For the fiscal year ending March 31, Richemont posted sales of €19.2 billion ($20.3 billion), an all-time high for the company and a 46 percent year-over-year increase at actual exchange rates.
Sales were up 35 percent compared with 2019.
Retail (as opposed to wholesale) and its performance in the Americas, where sales jumped 79 percent year-over-year, were the drivers behind Richemont’s performance.
Retail sales were up 51 percent year-over-year and 53 percent compared with 2019.
Wholesale sales were up 8 percent for the year, bolstered by the “return to in-person high-jewelry events and the long-awaited Watches & Wonders event, which opened its physical doors in Geneva for the first time in three years,” said Richemont.
Online retail sales grew 46 percent with “sharp growth” seen at its specialist watchmakers.
Jewelry sales in the Americas nearly doubled year-over-year.
Richemont has several well-established jewelry brands on its roster: Cartier, Buccellati, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Sales in Richemont’s jewelry division were up 49 percent for the full year, reaching €11.1 billion ($11.7 billion).
Jewelry sales in the Americas, which account for 22 percent of the division’s sales, were up 90 percent year-over-year at actual rates.
“Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels posted an outstanding performance, increasing their market leadership. Buccellati also developed successfully, further expanding its international footprint with nine new directly operated stores,” said Richemont.
For Cartier, its “Love,” “Panthère,” “Santos,” “Ballon Bleu” and the new “Tank Must SolarBeat” watch were the top performers.
Van Cleef’s “Alhambra,” “Perlée” and “Lady Arpels” were the brand’s top sellers as it expands its digital reach in the Middle East and China.
Buccellati, which Richemont acquired in September 2019, saw its “Opera Tulle” and “Macri” collections perform well.
As for its store network, there have been openings at Buccellati and Van Cleef and renovations at Cartier.
Millennials and Gen Zers are into high-end watches.
Richemont also has several luxury watchmakers in its portfolio, including A. Lange & Söhne, IWC Schaffhausen, Officine Panerai, and Vacheron Constantin.
Sales in Richemont’s specialist watchmakers division were up 53 percent to €3.4 billion ($3.6 billion) with nearly all of its brands exceeding pre-pandemic sales levels.
Direct-to-client sales in the division exceeded 50 percent, said Richemont, achieved by making improvements to its distribution, supply chain management and communication, especially on social media.
“The increased appeal of high-quality watches to millennials and Gen-Z is very positive for the future,” said Richemont.
The top performers included A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1, Baume & Mercier Riviera, IWC Pilot watches, Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso, Panerai Luminor, Piaget Polo, Roger Dubuis Excalibur, and Vacheron Constantin Overseas.
Watch sales in the Americas, which accounts for 12 percent of watch sales, more than doubled year-over-year, up 118 percent at actual rates.
Richemont is looking to its next fiscal year with cautious optimism.
The company did not provide fiscal guidance for the year ahead, but Rupert shared his thoughts on what lies ahead.
He began by conveying the company’s “deepest sympathy and compassion to all those affected by the tragic conflict taking place in Ukraine.”
The company, which has suspended its operations in Ukraine and Russia, said it has made “significant” donations to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) to support relief efforts.
“Even if the worst of COVID is hopefully behind us, we face a global environment that is the most unsettled we have experienced for a number of years,” Rupert said.
Richemont’s $5.3 billion net cash position, as of the end of March 2022, will help to steel the company against the uncertain times ahead.
“I am confident that the group is well positioned to benefit from any strength in consumer demand. We will work to maintain the necessary agility and flexibility to manage global uncertainties,” he said.
Richemont is prioritizing its sustainability agenda.
In his statement, Rupert noted it’s important for Richemont to continue to build its brand equity, but in a “responsible” manner.
“We consider ourselves custodians of Richemont’s underlying businesses and the planet for future generations,” he said.
Richemont outlined a few of its sustainability-focused initiatives.
By December 2022, Richemont aims to have removed polyvinyl chloride from its products and packaging, which can harm the environment.
In February, the company appointed Bérangère Ruchat as chief sustainability officer and board member Jasmine Whitbread was appointed to chair the Governance and Sustainability Committee.
Its initiatives have been validated by independent assessors, including MSCI, which gave it an AA rating, the Carbon Disclosure Project (A rating) and the Science Based Targets Initiative, which validated its targets.
Richemont was among the top 2 percent of companies rated by Sustainalytics and named one of the World’s Best Employers by Forbes 2021. The company will also be named a Financial Times-Statista Climate Leader 2022.
“Our vision of sustainable luxury requires that we leave no stone unturned,” said Richemont.
A full sustainability report is set to be released soon.
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