Luxury giant Richemont revives CEO role, Q4 sales dip, but Alaïa booms

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 Luxury giant Richemont revives CEO :  On Friday, Richemont made some major disclosures that clarified the current situation of the luxury industry as well as its internal restructuring. Noting a little 1% decline in revenues in the fourth quarter, the Swiss luxury behemoth confirmed an industry downturn. Furthermore, the group’s new chief executive officer was announced.

 Breaking news: Nicolas Bos, the current CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, will assume the ‘re-established role’ of group CEO next month. This appointment signifies a significant shift in Richemont’s strategy. Additionally, Bram Schot will take over as Non-executive Deputy Chairman in September, succeeding Josua (Dillie) Malherbe who has chosen to step down after 11 years.

 As the new CEO, Nicolas Bos will oversee all the Maisons, functions, and territories, with a particular focus on the Jewellery Maisons, Finance, and Human Resources. With his extensive leadership experience at Richemont since 1992 and deep understanding of the group, Bos is poised to lead the company into its next stage of development and expansion under the guidance of Chairman Johann Rupert.

Chloe – Spring-Summer2024 – Womenswear – Paris – © Launchmetrics

 At the same time, Jérôme Lambert will keep his role as chief operating officer and report directly to Bos, while still remaining on the board. Bos played a crucial role in the incredible success of Van Cleef & Arpels, and Rupert was confident in his ability to continue the company’s legacy of brilliance and originality.

 Going back to the numbers, Richemont’s revenues dropped in the fourth quarter to €4.8 billion ($5.21 billion), a slower growth rate than the previous quarter. A silver lining in the midst of market turmoil, these results outperformed analysts’ forecasts. Alternatively, full-year revenues were up a small 3% to €20.62 billion, and shareholder’s net profit was €2.36 billion, which was slightly lower than expected.

 Richemont’s portfolio includes illustrious jewelers like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, as well as prestigious watchmakers like Vacheron Constantin and Baume & Mercier. The company’s focus on its core businesses, which also include fashion brands such as Chloé, Alaïa, AZ Factory, Delvaux, Dunhill, Gianvito Rossi, Montblanc, and Peter Millar, underscores its strategic direction. While exploring options to sell Yoox Net-A-Porter, the company remains committed to its core businesses.

 Jewellery Maisons and retail contributed to the company’s full-year sales growth, which was good across all geographies and business areas, especially in Asia Pacific and Japan. Growth was recorded across all business categories and geographies, with retail emerging as the strongest channel. Operating profit fell somewhat, but at constant exchange rates it rose significantly, leading to a good operating margin.

 Operating margins were strong for the Jewellery Maisons due to rising sales, while for Specialist Watchmakers they were resilient due to falling sales. Despite encouraging progress at several Maisons, such as Alaïa, Peter Millar, and Delvaux, the fashion segment, which falls under the ‘Other’ business category, experienced operational difficulties and lost money for the year.

 Richemont’s recent statements underscore its unwavering commitment to weather market storms and seize growth and realignment opportunities. The company’s resilience in the face of industry challenges is a testament to its strength and adaptability, positioning it for future success in the ever-changing luxury market.

Ethan Sullivan

Ethan's penchant for the pulse of the fashion world extends to covering lifestyle topics, offering readers a seamless blend of the latest style updates and lifestyle trends.

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