Cartier’s Parent Company Just Hit a Record $21.7 Billion in Annual Sales Thanks to China Opening Up

·2-min read

It was a banner year for Richemont.

The Swiss luxury titan’s sales skyrocketed 19 percent year over year to reach a record $21.7 billion (€19.9 billion), according to financial results published on Friday. The final quarter was particularly strong as restrictions eased in China. Operating profits also rose 34 percent to an all-time high of $5.4 billion (€5 billion). In addition, the group reported double-digit growth across all regions and business areas for the year ended March 31. Richemont chairman Johann Rupert is predicting tougher times ahead in the U.S., though.

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The billionaire businessman pointed out the strength of Richemont’s maisons (Cartier, Van Clef & Arpels, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, to name but a few) and the resilience of luxury shoppers but also acknowledged that “economic volatility and political uncertainty look set to remain features of the trading environment.”

Rupert later told analysts of the impact interest rate hikes are having on consumer sentiment and the U.S. economy at large, as reported by Women’s Wear Daily. He added the U.S. Federal Reserve Board had been “reckless” in raising interest rates so rapidly and frequently over the past year. Richemont’s sales in the Americas region actually grew by 27 percent over the past 12 months, but Rupert is forecasting a slowdown in growth this year. He said the market “will not be as buoyant as a year ago” and is expecting a “harder landing than hoped for.”

Inside Cartier's redesigned Paris flagship store
Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said he is not selling Richemont or Cartier.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, of course. Rupert says the group will work to “manage fluctuating levels of demand” and is confident the various brands will cater to any influxes. “Richemont is fortunate to own such a unique portfolio of maisons with excellent long-term prospects,” he said in a statement.

The South African entrepreneur also clarified that he is not selling Richemont or Cartier. He said he was in constant “friendly” dialogue with LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, a.k.a. the world’s richest man, but has no interest in a deal with the French conglomerate. He labeled the rumor an “erroneous story,” according to Bloomberg.

Richemont shares rose more than five percent in early trade on Friday, May 12, and hit a record of $178.31 (158.50 Swiss francs), as reported by Reuters. That jump pushed the company’s market value to almost $101 billion (90 billion Swiss francs). We probably wouldn’t sell, either.

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