Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Richemont, the maker of Cartier jewelry and IWC Schaffhausen timepieces, said it doesn’t expect the market for luxury goods to improve in the short-term after sales plunged 18 percent in April.

Revenue rose 6 percent to 11.1 billion euros ($12.4 billion) in the 12 months through March, the Geneva-based company said in a statement Friday. That matched analysts’ forecasts. Operating profit fell to 2.06 billion euros, missing the average analyst estimate of 2.29 billion euros.

The company, whose full name is Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, has been struggling with the strong franc and is cutting almost 100 jobs in its Swiss watchmaking operations. Aside from weak demand in Asia, Richemont is also affected by a slowdown in tourism to Europe following the Paris terror attacks in November, a trend that analysts say may extend after the bombings in Brussels in March.

Last year, the company had a 239 million-euro mark-to-market loss in the first half. The non-cash losses reflected the euro’s plunge, which caused changes in the market value on money and hedging instruments.

Co-Chief Executive Officer Bernard Fornas retired at the end of March, leaving Richard Lepeu as sole CEO.

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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