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Richemont sees luxury sales hit by downturn

Swiss luxury goods group Richemont has reported a 31 per cent fall in net profit in its fiscal year results after restructuring and a slump in sales.

Net profit was €1.075 million (SFr1.62 million) for the year ending March 2009, according to the audited results published on Thursday.

Richemont said good growth of ten per cent in the first six months was largely offset by a five per cent drop in sales in the second six months. Overall sales increased by two per cent to €5.4 million.

“The decline was primarily the result of the worldwide economic slowdown, with the United States in particular reporting very weak trading during the important pre-Christmas period,” it noted in a statement.

It added that there were currently “very few encouraging signs in the global economic picture”, with the US market very weak, conditions poor in Japan and most European markets unsettled.

Trading conditions until September were expected to be very challenging, the group said.

Richemont’s portfolio includes Cartier, Piaget, Alfred Dunhill and Montblanc.

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