During its 2018/2019 financial year, which ended on March 31st Richemont recorded a turnover of 13,989 million euros, up 27% at real and constant exchange rates. Operating income increased by 5% to 1,943 million.
Johann Rupert, Chairman of the Group, said:
“The year under review has been one of transition and consolidation. We have continued our transformation journey with the successful tender offer on the shares we did not already own in Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP), the leading global online luxury and fashion retailer, and the acquisition of Watchfinder & Co. (Watchfinder), a leading omni-channel platform for premium pre-owned timepieces.
In a relatively supportive environment, sales increased by 27% at actual and constant exchange rates, reflecting growth across all business areas and distribution channels. Excluding YNAP and Watchfinder - collectively referred to as our “Online Distributors” - sales for the period grew by 8% at both actual and constant exchange rates. Jewellery Maisons and the retail channel posted the strongest performance. Most of our markets were in positive territory, led by double digit increases in the US and in all the main markets of Asia Pacific.
Across the business areas, we are starting to see the benefits of recent initiatives targeting the qualitative improvement of our distribution network, the right-sizing of watch inventories at our multi-brand retail partners, and the adjustment of supply to the true level of end-customer demand.
The Jewellery Maisons performed strongly. Cartier benefited from the successful launch of the rejuvenated iconic “Santos de Cartier” watch line, and the enduring appeal of its jewellery collections, notably “Juste un Clou”. Van Cleef & Arpels celebrated the 50th anniversary of its emblematic ‘Alhambra’ collection with much success, and continued to enrich its jewellery offer, notably with additional “Frivole” creations.
The Specialist Watchmakers have shown good progress, with double digit growth in sales in their directly operated stores. The Maisons generally enjoyed strong retail performance, with Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC being particularly noteworthy.
We have worked on integrating the Online Distributors which have joined the Group this year. A compelling go-to destination for online luxury and fashion, YNAP increased sales at a double digit rate. Watchfinder has delivered satisfactory performance, building on its leading position in the UK market. Its internationalisation has begun, with an initial market entry in France.
Our Maisons grouped under “Other” have delivered varied performances. All Maisons saw higher sales, led by Montblanc and Peter Millar. Chloé and Alfred Dunhill increased sales with encouraging early results for the new Chloé leather offer and for Alfred Dunhill’s latest product offerings.
Profit for the year rose by 128% to € 2 787 million, mainly due to a post-tax non-cash accounting gain of € 1 378 million on the revaluation of the YNAP shares held before the tender offer. Net cash totalled € 2 528 million at 31 March 2019.
Reflecting the performance seen during the year, the Board has proposed a dividend of 2.00 Swiss francs per share, up from 1.90 franc per share last year.”