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Richemont to hire hundreds after high demand

The world’s second-largest luxury goods group, Richemont, has announced it wants to add another 800 jobs to its staff in Switzerland because of expected strong growth.

The group, which has its headquarters in Geneva, said in a statement on Thursday that “robust demand” in Asia had helped full-year net profit jump 79 per cent compared with the previous financial year.

“We are actually facing more demand than we can cope with, we have to hire people in all our factories, commented chief financial officer Richard Lepeu.

Richemont, which has a stable of watch companies that include Cartier, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and Panerai said it had made a net profit of €1.08 billion (SFr1.36 billion) for the year ending in March.

“Sales in the month of April were 32  per cent above the comparative period, or 35  per cent at constant exchange rates,” commented chairman and chief executive Johann Rupert.

“In an environment currently marked by geopolitical unrest and currency instability, we hope that this positive trend will be confirmed in the coming months.”

Analyst René Weber from Bank Vontobel was a little disappointed with the results.

“April was a strong start but the market will not like the full-year 2010/2011 figures,” he told Reuters.

The Swatch Group in Biel, the world’s largest watchmaking concern, expects to add between 1,000 and 1,500 new jobs in the coming year thanks to higher demand.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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