Luxury conglomerate Richemont has exceeded expectations by reporting a 40% increase in net profits despite a decline in sales. The company experienced a 25% decrease in sales in the first half of the financial year due to the closure of points of sale, logistics centers, and manufacturing sites, as well as the halt in international tourism caused by the pandemic. However, as lockdown measures eased, sales rebounded in the second half of the year, resulting in an overall decline of just 5% for the year.

Sales for the year amounted to €13.144 billion, with operating profit declining by 3% to €1.478 billion. Net profit, on the other hand, saw a healthy 38% increase, totaling €1.289 billion. The company’s online retail segment, dominated by the Yoox Net-A-Porter operation, experienced positive growth, accounting for 21% of group sales. Richemont’s Jewelry Maisons, including Cartier, also performed strongly, surpassing pre-Covid sales levels and achieving an operating margin of 31%.

Asia Pacific, particularly China, played a significant role in Richemont’s success, contributing to a 19% sales growth in the region. However, European sales fell by 31%, the Americas by 15%, and Japan alone declined by 22%. Chairman Johann Rupert also paid tribute to the late Alber Elbaz, praising his contributions to the industry.

Richemont’s strong financial performance signals a promising future for the company, with a focus on digital transformation and growth in key markets. The company has made significant investments in the digital realm, including partnerships with Farfetch and Alibaba. Overall, Richemont’s ability to adapt to challenging circumstances and its strong performance in the second half of the year position it for continued success.

Useful links:
– [Farfetch](https://www.farfetch.com/)
– [Alibaba](https://www.alibaba.com/)