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(Bloomberg) -- Richemont, the maker of Cartier necklaces and IWC Schaffhausen timepieces, reported Christmas-season revenue that beat analysts’ estimates, boosted by demand for luxury jewelry in the U.S. and a recovery in China.

Revenue gained 5 percent excluding currency shifts in three months through December, the Geneva-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts had predicted flat sales growth for Richemont’s third quarter, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

The gain gives Richemont some respite after revenue fell 12 percent in the first half. Revenue in Asia Pacific, which accounted for about a third of total sales in the first half, gained 10 percent, the first increase in two years. Richemont has responded to the biggest downturn for the Swiss watch industry since the quartz crisis in the 1980s by buying back unsold inventory from retailers and cutting jobs at Cartier, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget. 

Richemont overhauled its management in November, eliminating the Chief Executive Officer role as Richard Lepeu retires this year and eight directors step down, making way for new managers to lead watchmaking and operations.

The reopening of a Cartier store in New York boosted jewelry sales in the Americas region, where revenue rose 8 percent.

The company, whose full name is Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, doesn’t report profit for its fiscal third quarter. Total revenue amounted to 3.09 billion euros ($3.3 billion), exceeding the 2.96 billion-euro estimate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew Boyle at mboyle20@bloomberg.net, Thomas Mulier

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