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By
Reuters
Published
Nov 16, 2009
Reading time
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Richemont shares surge on upgrades after strong first half

By
Reuters
Published
Nov 16, 2009

ZURICH, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Shares in Richemont (CFR.VX), the world's second largest luxury goods group, surged on Monday 16 November after a series of brokers raised their price targets and upgraded their ratings for the group after a strong set of first-half results.


Photo: www.richemont.com

Analysts also welcomed news that Executive Chairman Johann Rupert would take on the job of chief executive at the group behind Cartier jewellery, Montblanc pens and Chloe handbags.

At 1046 GMT shares in Richemont were up 4.6 percent at 33.47 Swiss francs, having previously risen to a near two-year high of 33.54 francs and easily outperforming a 0.7 percent rise in the DJ Stoxx European personal and household goods sector index .SXQP.

"The stock is a clear play on emerging markets, given over half of sales are to emerging market buyers," said Kepler Capital Markets analyst Jon Cox.

"We welcome the appointment of controlling shareholder Johann Rupert as CEO, as he led Richemont out of the 2003 dark days and the move avoids unnecessarily ruffling luxury egos by bringing in an outsider during a sensitive time for the company," he said.

In contrast shares in Swiss rival Swatch Group (UHR.VX) were trading 0.7 percent lower after CEO Nick Hayek said its second-half operating margin should be in line with the 14.7 percent recorded in the first six months of the year if the dollar does not weaken further against the franc.

"We assume an improvement in H2 operating margin toward 17.9 percent and 16.5 percent for the year as a whole and his comments are clearly cautious," Kepler's Cox said.

"The dollar is doing the company few favours, Hong Kong and Chinese currencies are effectively pegged, and we suspect our numbers are too high," he said. (Reporting by Katie Reid; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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