Strong demand in mainland China helped Cartier-owner Richemont offset a weaker performance elsewhere in its first quarter, as protests in Hong Kong hit sales, revenues fell in Europe and its watch business faltered.
The YNAP buy lit a rocket under Richemont sales last year, but it dented profitability. Yet the group remains strong with jewellery and watches buoyant while Chloé and Dunhill have seen good reactions to new products.
One of the abiding mysteries in luxury is the far greater ability of Paris brands to outperform their venerable, respected and often very classy London rivals. Dunhill may be about to become a significant exception.
The growing importance of ‘hard luxury’ was further illustrated on Thursday as Yoox-Net-A-Porter’s high-end menswear arm Mr Porter announced the launch of its new watches offer combining commerce with content.
Online luxury retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) will be delisted from the Milan Stock Exchange on June 20 after Cartier owner Richemont reached nearly 95 percent of YNAP’s ordinary shares after a takeover.
Richemont has launched a new watch brand, Baume, offering trendy time pieces priced in the hundreds rather than the thousands of dollars to lure young people away from using their smartphones to tell the time.
Swiss group Richemont, owner of the Cartier, Piaget and Chloé brands, among others, and the third largest luxury group in the world, has reworked the management of its watch brands Jaeger-LeCoultre and Baume & Mercier.
Mr Porter is further expanding its fine watch department with the addition of a curated selection of seven Cartier Watches. The line-up will launch on 5 April, with further launches planned for later this year.