Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods group which owns brands including Dunhill, Chloé and Cartier, said that sales and profits soared in the year to March 31 and that etailer Net-a-Porter performed ahead of plan.
Profits during the year at the group rose by 79.8% to €1.1bn (£967.9m), including a one-off gain from the €245m (£215.6m) acquisition of Net-a-Porter in April last year. Total sales during the year jumped 33.2% to €6.9 (£6.1bn).
Sales at Net-a-Porter were €274m (£241m)and the business “generated a positive cash flow and performed above plan”, the group said.
Sales at Richemont’s fashion and accessories division rose 20% and generated profits of €29m (£25.5m), an increase of €21m (£18.5m) on last year.
Sales in Europe, which account for 38% of the group’s business and is Richemont’s “most important region”, grew by 23% driven by sales to local shoppers as well as tourists.
Sales in Japan grew by 18% in spite of the tsunami in March, impacted by the appreciation of the yen.
Group operating profit rose by 63% to €1.4bn (£1.2bn) during the year. Gross margin increased by 210 basis points to 63.7%, reflecting an outperformance of the group’s retail arm compared to the wholesale arm.
Total retail sales, which include the group’s 876 standalone store operations and Net-a-Porter, exceeded 50% of the group’s overall sales for the first time. Retail sales grew 35% at constant exchange rates to €3.5bn (£3.1bn). Excluding Net-a-Porter retail sales rose 24% at constant exchange rates.
Wholesale sales rose by 15% to €3.4bn (£2.9bn). Richemont said the performance was impacted by de-stocking by partners, particularly as planned in the US.
The group said that the strong overall performance had continued in to April when total group sales rose 32% year-on-year.