Geneva, Switzerland (4E) – Swiss jewelry maker Richemont said revenue growth in its fiscal year’s first five months missed analysts’ estimates due to weak demand from mainland Chinese consumers.
The world’s biggest jewelry maker reported Thursday that sales climbed 9 percent, excluding shifts in currency, in the five months through August. That is below the median estimate of 10 percent growth according to 21 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
The Geneva-based Richemont, which owns Net-A-Porter and the Chloé fashion label, said that the Chinese market has become more “prudent” after several years of strong growth. The Chinese luxury sector in general has been hurt by lower demand for high-end jewelry and watches following government efforts against corporate bribes.
Last year, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 41 percent of Richemont’s overall sales. However, the sales growth in the region is rising more slowly due to Beijing’s crackdown on bribes and illegitimate gifts where watches and jewelry are often used. The region grew 4 percent in the five-month period, continuing the slow growth in the previous fiscal year and compared with a 46 percent rise in the previous year.
Richemont said its Asia-Pacific market tallied a good growth rate and added that sales in Hong Kong and Macau offset weakness in mainland China. Company chairman Johann Rupert will be taking a one-year sabbatical leave after Thursday’s annual meeting.