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Richemont reports slow Q4 sales growth, appoints Nicolas Bos as CEO

By Prachi Singh


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Richemont headquarters Credits: Richemont media gallery

For the full financial year, Richemont sales increased by 3 percent at actual exchange rates and 8 percent at constant exchange rates to 20.6 billion euros, driven by the jewellery maisons, while operating profit came in at 4.8 billion euros, a 13 percent improvement at constant exchange rates. Fourth quarter sales were down by 1 percent at actual exchange rates, and up 2 percent at constant exchange rates.

The company also announced the appointments of Nicolas Bos, currently chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels, to the re-established role of CEO of Richemont effective June 1, 2024, and Bram Schot as non-executive deputy chairman of the board effective September 11, 2024.

“We experienced a softening of sales in the fourth quarter in Asia Pacific against challenging comparatives, which was more than offset by higher growth in all the other regions. As we predicted, a sustainable rebound in Chinese demand would take some time,” said Johann Rupert, chairman of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA in a statement.

Highlights of Richemont's performance

At actual exchange rates, sales grew across all regions and almost all channels excluding the online retail channel. The group’s directly operated stores generated 5 percent growth at actual exchange rates and 11 percent at constant exchange rates.

Sales increase was led by Asia Pacific, up 4 percent at actual exchange rates and 10 percent at constant exchange rates and by Japan, up 8 percent at actual exchange rates and 20 percent at constant exchange rates.

Across product segments, at actual exchange rates, jewellery maisons – Buccellati, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels – delivered a 33.1 percent operating margin, with combined sales exceeding the 14 billion euros mark. The company said that the 6 percent or 12 percent constant exchange sales increase was underpinned by growth across price points and regions and included a sharp double-digit progression at Buccellati.

Specialist watchmakers delivered a 15.2 percent operating margin given a strong Swiss franc, on sales 3 percent lower or positive 2 percent at constant exchange to 3.8 billion euros.

The ‘Other’ business area recorded a 43 million euros loss, with fashion & accessories maisons reaching breakeven.

At group level, operating profit came in at 4.8 billion euros, while at constant exchange rates, operating profit rose by 13 percent to 26.2 percent of sales. Profit for the year from continuing operations was solid at 3.8 billion euros. The overall profit for the year amounted to 2.3 billion euros.

Based upon the strong underlying performance of the year, significant cash flow generation and a net cash position of 7.4 billion euros at the end of March 2024, the company’s board has proposed to pay an ordinary dividend of 2.75 Swiss francs per share and 0.275 Swiss francs per ‘B’ shares, a 10 percent increase in the ordinary dividend over the prior year.

Richemont names Nicolas Bos as new CEO

Newly appointed CEO Nicolas Bos will continue to report to Johann Rupert and will join the senior executive committee on June 1, 2024. He will be proposed for election to the board at the annual general meeting to be held on September 11, 2024. In his new role, the company added, Bos will directly and indirectly oversee all the maisons, functions and regions, notably the jewellery maisons, finance and human resources.

A graduate of the ESSEC Business School, Bos joined Richemont in 1992, initially working with the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris. In 2000, he joined Van Cleef & Arpels where he held different positions until he became global president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels in 2013. Since September 2019, Bos has also been overseeing Buccellati.

Richemont further said that Jérôme Lambert remains on the Board and will continue in the group as chief operating officer (COO), reporting to Bos.

Additionally, Josua (Dillie) Malherbe will be succeeded by Schot as non-executive deputy chairman, having decided to step down after 11 years of service in the role. He will remain on the board as non-executive director and as a member of the audit and strategic and security committees.

Commenting on the appointments, Rupert said: ‘I am truly delighted that Nicolas has accepted to assume the re-established role of chief executive officer of Richemont. Building on Richemont’s expanded scale and stronger focus on retail and jewellery, Nicolas will steer the group through the next phase of its evolution. I am also glad that such an experienced and seasoned successor as Bram will be taking over from Dillie as deputy chairman of the board.”

Compagnie Financière Richemont SA
Executive Management
Nicolas Bos