By Michelle Graff
A pair of yellow gold earrings set with diamonds and kunzite (nearly 13 carats total) from Buccellati’s high jewelry collection. Richemont, which owns the Italian brand as well as Cartier and VCA, said jewelry sales increased 6 percent in Q3.
Bellevue, Switzerland—Luxury conglomerate Richemont saw sales top $4 billion in the third quarter, fueled by strong demand for Cartier, Van Cleef and Buccellati jewelry.

The Swiss luxury conglomerate reported Friday that sales between October and December totaled €4.16 billion ($4.61 billion), up 6 percent (4 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis) over Q3 2018.

Sales of jewelry were up 9 percent (6 percent at constant exchange rates) year-over-year to €2.16 billion ($2.4 billion).

Richemont said jewelry sold well across all collections and in all regions except Japan, noting “the performance of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati was particularly noteworthy given the negative impact of Hong Kong,” where unrest continued to disrupt commerce.

The watch division, which is comprised of eight brands including Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and Baume & Mercier, saw sales tick up 4 percent (2 percent at constant exchange rates) to €818 million ($908 million).

Richemont characterized it as modest growth that was noteworthy given the situation in Hong Kong.

The company said it made more watch sales at its own boutiques than through retail accounts, a trend that stretched across divisions with retail—both brick-and-mortar and online (Richemont owns Net-a-Porter, Mr. Porter, YOOX and The Outnet)—up 8 percent (5 percent at constant exchange rates).

Wholesale sales, meanwhile, were up just 2 percent (flat at constant exchange rates).

Region-wise, Richemont said it experienced growth worldwide, even in Asia-Pacific.

Double-digit gains in China and Korea balanced out the “severe sales contraction” in Hong Kong.

Sales in the Americas increased 9 percent (5 percent at constant exchange rates), with a solid performance in the United States offsetting declines in other markets.

Year-to-date, Richemont’s sales are up 8 percent (5 percent at constant exchange rates) year-over-year to €11.56 billion ($12.83 billion).

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