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May 18, 2018, 2:37 a.m. EDT

Richemont profit rises on performance in Asia

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By Euan Conley

Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA (CFR.EB) said Friday that full-year net profit rose slightly as sales in Asia soared.

Net profit for the 12 months ended March 31 rose to 1.22 billion euros ($1.44 billion), from EUR1.21 billion over the previous year. Full-year operating profit stood at EUR1.84 billion.

Cartier owner Richemont said sales for the year rose 3% to EUR10.98 billion, driven mainly by its jewelry business. Excluding the impact of watch inventory buybacks, which the company priced at EUR203 million, sales rose by 7% at constant rates.

Sales in the Asia-Pacific region, about 40% of the company's overall total, rose 12% on the back of double-digit growth across the company's retail and wholesale channels.

The Swiss conglomerate previously said full-year results wouldn't match "the same exceptional level" recorded in the first half of the year, when its net profit jumped by 80%.

Richemont's chairman, Johann Rupert, said the company's long-term approach wouldn't preclude it from targeting "strategic investments and divestments."

The company raised its dividend to CHF1.90 a share from CHF1.80 the previous year.

Richemont said it appointed Eric Vallat to the newly created role of head of fashion & accessories maisons effective June 1. Mr. Vallat will also join the group's executive committee.

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