Richemont announces strong underlying performance for the six-month period ended 30 September 2023

Published

AD HOC ANNOUNCEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 53LR10 NOVEMBER 2023

Please find below the Highlights and Chairman’s commentary from Richemont FY24 Interim Results Announcement.

RICHEMONT ANNOUNCES STRONG UNDERLYING PERFORMANCEFOR THE SIX-MONTH PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2023

Group highlights

  • Sales and operating profit from continuing operations of € 10.2 billion and € 2.7 billion, respectively, notwithstanding uncertain macroeconomic and geopolitical environments, demanding comparatives and significant adverse foreign currency movements
  • Clearance obtained from all regulatory authorities on agreement with FARFETCH and Alabbar to sell a controlling interest in YNAP to create a neutral industry-wide platform
  • Continued progress on ESG matters: first ESG Report in accordance with GRI Standards and strengthened governance with two new board members and two new SEC members

Financial highlights

  • Sales increase of 6% at actual exchange rates (+12% at constant exchange rates) fuelled by almost all regions and distribution channels
  • Growth led by Asia Pacific, with sales up 14% at actual exchange rates (+23% at constant exchange rates), and Jewellery Maisons, with sales up 10% at actual exchange rates (+16% at constant exchange rates)
  • Continued outperformance of retail, up 9% at actual exchange rates (+16% at constant exchange rates), representing 69% of Group sales
  • Operating profit from continuing operations down by 2% at actual exchange rates (+15% at constant exchange rates) with a 26.0% operating margin (28.5% at constant exchange rates, a 90 basis-point increase) reflecting:
    • Jewellery Maisons achieving 10% sales growth at actual exchange rates (+16% at constant exchange rates) and delivering a 35.5% operating margin
    • Specialist Watchmakers contracting sales by 3% at actual exchange rates (+3% at constant exchange rates) and achieving a 19.7% operating margin
    • ‘Other’ business area (predominantly F&A Maisons) reducing sales by 1% at actual exchange rates (+3% at constant exchange rates); a € 6 million loss overall, with F&A Maisons posting a 2.1% operating margin
  • 3% increase in profit for the period from continuing operations to € 2.2 billion; € 0.7 billion loss from discontinued operations primarily resulting from € 0.5 billion non-cash write-down of YNAP net assets
  • Solid net cash position of € 5.8 billion, with increased € 1.7 billion cash flow generated from operating activities

Key financial data (unaudited)

       
Six months ended 30 September 2023 2022 change
Sales € 10 221 m € 9 676 m +6%
Gross profit € 6 973 m € 6 667 m +5%
Gross margin 68.2% 68.9% -70 bps
Operating profit € 2 655 m € 2 723 m -2%
Operating margin 26.0% 28.1% -210 bps
Profit for the period from continuing operations € 2 160 m € 2 105 m +3%
Loss for the period from discontinued operations € (655) m € (2 871) m  
Profit/(loss) for the period € 1 505 m € (766) m  
Earnings per ‘A’ share/10 ‘B’ shares, diluted basis € 2.601 € (1.337)  
Cash flow generated from operating activities € 1 666 m € 1 540 m +126 m
Net cash position € 5 785 m € 4 763 m  

Chairman’s commentary

Overview of resultsIn the first six months of the financial year, Richemont reported a strong underlying performance amid continued economic and geopolitical uncertainties and an unfavourable foreign exchange environment. Sales from continuing operations rose by 12% at constant exchange rates (+6% at actual exchange rates) to € 10.2 billion and operating profit from continuing operations was € 2.7 billion, up 15% at constant exchange rates. The ongoing focus on enhancing the desirability of our Maisons, promoting direct-to-client engagement, nurturing our domestic clienteles and reinforcing the agility and excellence of our operations has strengthened the Group and reinforced its resilience.

Compared to the prior-year period, at actual exchange rates, sales increases were recorded across almost all channels and regions excluding Americas, where sales declined by 4%. Growth was led by Asia Pacific with sales up by 14% following the reopening of China, Jewellery Maisons and the retail channel which, together with the online retail channel, contributed 74% of Group sales.

With 10% sales growth overall and ongoing cost discipline delivering a € 2.5 billion operating result and a corresponding 35.5% operating margin, our Jewellery Maisons, Buccellati, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, have demonstrated their continued leadership of the industry. We have further invested in their manufacturing capacity and capabilities, distribution and communication to support their strong development.

While demand for iconic collections remained resilient across our watch Maisons, our Specialist Watchmakers recorded a 3% year-on-year sales decline to € 2.0 billion. This performance overshadowed the high single-digit sales growth in their directly operated stores, now 57% of the Specialist Watchmakers’ sales, and the continued outperformance of A. Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. Impacted by a strong Swiss franc, operating result amounted to € 391 million, generating a 19.7% operating margin.

The Group’s ‘Other’ business area saw sales decline by 1% while sales at our Fashion & Accessories Maisons were broadly in line with the prior-year period, with most Maisons posting higher sales. Of particular note are the retail performance and continued outperformance of Alaïa, Delvaux and Peter Millar, together with the success of Montblanc’s redesigned leather collections. Overall, the ‘Other’ business area recorded a € 6 million operating loss whilst the Fashion & Accessories Maisons generated a € 25 million operating profit.

At Group level, operating profit from continuing operations was also significantly impacted by negative foreign exchange developments, but nonetheless still delivered a 26.0% operating margin. Profit for the period from continuing operations increased to € 2.2 billion, benefiting from lower net finance costs. The € 0.7 billion loss from discontinued operations reflected the combined result of YOOX NET-A-PORTER (‘YNAP’) for the six-month period and the € 0.5 billion non-cash write-down on the revaluation of YNAP’s net assets, classified as ‘held for sale’, to its fair value. The total net non-cash write-down since we fully acquired NET-A-PORTER in 2010 amounts to € 1.8 billion, based on the application of IFRS which has driven a series of write-up(s) / write-down of the net assets carried value. Importantly, amid the current macro uncertainty, our net cash position remained solid at € 5.8 billion on 30 September 2023 (excluding YNAP’s net bank overdraft position of € 0.7 billion, presented as assets and liabilities of disposal group held for sale).

Strengthening of our operations and portfolio of Fashion & Accessories Maisons On 28 July 2023, we signed an agreement with Gianvito Rossi to acquire a controlling stake in the eponymous renowned Italian luxury shoemaker. Its exceptional ‘Made in Italy’ craftsmanship, timeless elegance and untapped potential will strengthen our portfolio of Fashion & Accessories Maisons. The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of calendar year 2024.

On 1 September 2023, the Senior Executive Committee was further strengthened with the appointments of Swen Grundmann, who combines the newly-created role of Corporate Affairs Director with Company Secretary, and of Boet Brinkgreve in the newly-created role of CEO of Laboratoire de Haute Parfumerie et Beauté. These appointments reflect the growing importance of regulatory and reputational matters and highlight the Group’s ambition to have the Maisons involved in fragrance reach their full potential in this dynamic market by levering internal competences.

Our Luxury New Retail (‘LNR’) partners The relevant regulatory authorities have now unconditionally cleared the acquisition by Farfetch of a 47.5% stake in YNAP in exchange for the issuance of Farfetch Class ‘A’ ordinary shares to Richemont. In exchange, Richemont will receive circa 58.5 million of Farfetch shares, and, on the fifth anniversary of completion, an additional equivalent of US$ 250 million in Farfetch Class ‘A’ ordinary shares based on the then-current Farfetch share price. As part of the transaction, Alabbar will also acquire a 3.2% interest in YNAP, leaving Richemont with a 49.3% holding, and realising my long-standing goal of making YNAP a neutral industry-wide online platform.

Completion of the transaction remains subject to certain other conditions.

Annual General Meeting and Board changesAt the Annual General Meeting (‘AGM’) in September 2023, two new non-executive directors, Fiona Druckenmiller and Bram Schot, were elected. Fiona brings her combined financial and jewellery expertise and understanding of the American clientele and social and environmental causes whilst Bram adds premium automotive industry expertise, business acumen and understanding of risk management, supply chain and sustainability issues.

Also at this year’s AGM, shareholders re-elected Wendy Luhabe as the ‘A’ shareholders’ representative, with 95% of the ‘A’ shareholders casting their votes. Wendy was elected to the Board with 94% supportive votes. All directors have been elected by a large majority of ‘A’ votes represented in addition to the ‘B’ votes.

Equity-based shareholder loyalty schemeIn November 2020, we launched a Shareholder Loyalty Scheme to mitigate the reduction of the cash dividend per share for the year ended March 2020, following the Covid outbreak, by enabling long-term shareholders to acquire new Richemont ‘A’ shares at a potentially beneficial exercise price in November 2023.

I am truly delighted to see that our shareholders will be rewarded for their patience and trust in Richemont, as long as our share price remains above the exercise price of CHF 67 by 20 November 2023, and hope that they take up the offer before the deadline. The conversion of warrants into ‘A’ shares is not automatic. If warrant holders do not act, warrants will expire worthless. More details can be found on the Richemont website under Shareholder information.

Sustainability compliance-driven approachIn June, we further progressed on our ESG agenda by publishing Richemont’s first ESG report fully prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Standards, with increased GRI disclosures and 40 quantitative indicators independently assured by PWC. We have also extended our Speak Up platform to external stakeholders to enable them to voice their concerns, in line with the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the EU Whistleblower Directive.

I am pleased to report that Richemont received a 11.3 risk rating score for its ‘low risk exposure’ with a ‘strong management’ labelling from the ESG rating agency Sustainalytics. This rating positions the Group among the top 4% of more than 15 000 companies rated worldwide.

OutlookThe period under review started strongly, beyond our expectations. However, growth eased in the second quarter as inflationary pressure, slowing economic growth and geopolitical tensions began to affect customer sentiment, compounded by strong comparatives. Consequently, we have seen a broad-based normalisation of market growth expectations across the industry. The positive news is that a soft-landing scenario seems to be prevailing in major economies with still higher growth expected from China, which should benefit from stimulus measures.

We have further reinforced the breadth and depth of the skillset both on our Senior Executive Committee and the Board. Our Maisons have continued to enhance their desirability and capabilities and increase proximity with their clients. Financial discipline has been maintained enabling targeted investments and a further strengthening of our operations.

I would like to thank all the teams at Richemont for their contribution to a strong underlying performance in a volatile environment and ask them to remain agile and focused amid today’s global uncertainties. Our solid balance sheet enables us to manage for the long term, investing in a discerning manner in talent, research & development, production, distribution and sustainability initiatives. I have every confidence in the long-term prospects of our Group.

Johann RupertChairman

Compagnie Financière Richemont SA

About Richemont

At Richemont, we craft the future. Our unique portfolio includes prestigious Maisons distinguished by their craftsmanship and creativity, alongside online distributors that cultivate expert curation and technological innovation to deliver the highest standards of service. Richemont’s ambition is to nurture its Maisons and businesses and enable them to grow and prosper in a responsible, sustainable manner over the long term.

Richemont operates in three business areas: Jewellery Maisons with Buccellati, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels; Specialist Watchmakers with A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis and Vacheron Constantin; and Other, primarily Fashion & Accessories Maisons with Alaïa, AZ Factory, Chloé, Delvaux, dunhill, Montblanc, Peter Millar including G/FORE, Purdey, Serapian as well as Watchfinder & Co. In addition, Richemont operates NET-A-PORTER, MR PORTER, THE OUTNET, YOOX and the OFS division. Find out more at https://www.richemont.com/

Disclaimer

This document contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. Richemont's forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company's business and performance, the economy and other future conditions and forecasts of future events, circumstances and results. Our retail stores are heavily dependent on the ability and desire of consumers to travel and shop and a decline in consumers traffic could have a negative effect on our comparable store sales and/or average sales per square foot and store profitability resulting in impairment charges, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Reduced travel resulting from economic conditions, retail store closure orders of civil authorities, travel restrictions, travel concerns and other circumstances, including disease epidemics and other health-related concerns, could have a material adverse effect on us, particularly if such events impact our customers’ desire to travel to our retail stores. International conflicts or wars, including resulting sanctions and restrictions on importation and exportation of finished products and/or raw materials, whether self-imposed or imposed by international countries, non-state entities or others, may also impact these forward-looking statements. As with any projection or forecast, forward-looking statements are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside the Group's control. Richemont does not undertake to update, nor does it have any obligation to provide updates of, or to revise, any forward-looking statements.

© Richemont 2023

This announcement does not contain full details and should not be used as a basis for any investment decision in relation to the Company’s shares. Please find the full announcement available in PDF below: 

Richemont FY24 Interim results PDF EN | Richemont FY24 Interim results PDF FR (abridged)

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