Hong Kong protests hurt Richemont’s profits

Richemont’s share price took a hit after the company disappointed the market with its results for the six months to end-September.

Its sales rose by 9% to almost to €7.4bn, and the company saw double-digit sales growth from China, Korea, Japan, the US and the United Kingdom, but reported a “difficult environment” in Hong Kong.

Richemont, which owns luxury brands like Cartier, Montblanc, dunhill and Chloé, reported a 7% fall in its headline earnings.

“Geopolitical tensions around the world have affected customer sentiment,” the company said in a statement.  Its share price on the JSE was down by more than 4% by midday on Friday, but remains 30% higher since the start of the year.

Sales at its jewellery maisons grew by 9%, despite a double-digit decline in Hong Kong where stores were closed during recent protests.

Hong Kong has seen months of violent unrest as protesters demonstrate against the Chinese government, who is accused of increasingly infringing their democratic rights.

Primarily due to a difficult environment in Hong Kong, Richemont’s specialist watchmakers registered muted sales growth.

The company has net cash of almost €1.8bn on hand.