Richemont Stokes Fears of China Luxury Slowdown

by swisscham in Hospitality, Retail, Tourism

Fears of a slowdown of luxury goods sales in China re-emerged today as Cartier-to-Montblanc owner Richemont missed analysts’ forecasts. Switzerland-based Richemont, which also owns Net-A-Porter and fashion label Chloé, warned that Chinese consumers were more “prudent” after “several years of exceptional expansion” as it reported group sales growth of 9% for the five months to September — just missing forecasts of 10%. The general luxury sector in China has been hit by a reduction in demand for high-end jewellery and watches after a clampdown on corporate bribes. Richemont, whose chairman Johann Rupert will leave for a one-year sabbatical after today’s annual meeting, reported good growth in its Asia-Pacific market and said Hong Kong and Macau offset lower sales in mainland China. A number of luxury goods brands, including handbag maker Hermès, recently reported improving Chinese sales, which led many to believe talk of a slowdown was overblown.

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