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Richemont's retail growth slows

Net-a-Porter and Chloé owner Richemont’s retail sales growth slowed during the first half of the year, up 5% compared to the 11% increase it enjoyed last year.

The company, which operates Net-a-Porter, Chloé, and Alfred Dunhill as well as a number of jewellery and watch brands, including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, said retail revenue reached €2.8bn (£2.1bn) in the half year to September 30.

Its clothing division grew 12% to €795m (£623m), with improvement at Montblanc and Net-a-Porter offsetting anticipated higher losses at the fashion and accessories departments. However, operating losses in the clothing division reached €21m (£16.5m) from €11m (£8.6m) the year before.

The company said the Alfred Dunhill brand faced difficult trading in the Asia Pacific. It is also in the process of rationalising its wholesale business, which has weighed on sales.

Sales at Chloé were flat, with retail sales “strong” except in Japan. Meanwhile, Net-a-Porter reported a “strong broad-based growth rate”.

Overall revenue increased 2% to €5.4bn (£4.2bn), while gross margin was up 3% to €3.5bn (£2.7bn). Net profit plunged 23% to €907m (£710.7m).

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