Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Richemont, the maker of Cartier jewelry, said first-half operating profit will probably decline about 45 percent as it buys back unsold watches from retailers in Hong Kong and Europe suffers from a drop in tourism.

Revenue slid 13 percent excluding currency shifts in the five months through August, the Geneva-based maker of Vacheron Constantin timepieces said in a statement Wednesday. Analysts had expected an 11 percent decline, based on the median estimate of those polled by Bloomberg. The decline in operating profit includes one-time restructuring charges of about 65 million euros.

The Swiss watch industry is grappling with another year of declining exports as China’s campaign against extravagant spending is aggravated by a drop in tourism after terrorist attacks in France and Belgium. Swatch Group AG reported a 54 percent decline in first-half profit in July.

The company, whose full name is Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, reports five-month sales figures each year on the day of its annual general meeting with shareholders.

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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