Swiss luxury goods group Richemont saw its group sales fall 4% to €5.2bn (£4.4bn) in the year to March 31, dragged down by a poor wholesale performance.
Richemont’s group retail sales for the period were up 4% to €2.4bn (£2bn), while its wholesale revenues dropped 10% to €2.8bn (£2.4bn), partly as a result of a shift in focus to retail and the continued closure of wholesale accounts.
The group’s profits for the year fell 7% to €3.2bn (£2.7bn).
Richemont said sales in its fashion and accessories division were stronger than its watches or pens divisions. Luxury fashion brands Alfred Dunhill and Lancel broke even, while Chloé remained profitable.
Richemont said that the performance of these brands was boosted by strong retail sales as well as by the accessible price points of accessories, which had helped them remain popular throughout the recession.
Richemont’s other fashion and accessories businesses include Shanghai Tang, Maison Alaïa and Purdey.
The Richemont group as a whole performed poorly in Europe, where sales declined 11% to €2.1bn (£1.8bn) over the year as a result of a difficult first half of the year. European sales in the second half were up 1%.
Richemont chairman and chief executive Johann Rupert said: “We are ready to capitalise on growth opportunities in new markets and to meet demand in established markets once the economic situation improves.”
The results do not include the performance of luxury etailer Net-a-Porter, which Richemont acquired last month, after its financial year end.