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Richemont sales fall 4% as demand for watches slumps

Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods group, has announced a disappointing fourth quarter amid falling demand for watches.

The group reported that in the third quarter, ending 31 December, sales fell by 4% at constant exchange rates (increased 3% at actual exchange rates) as sales were affected by weak trading in Europe and a “challenging” Asia Pacific market.

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One highlight for the company was that its jewellery business continued to enjoy growth across most regions and product categories, which it said “partly compensated” for weak demand for watches.

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Revenues for the the company, whose brands include Cartier, A. Lange & Sohne, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin, stood at €2.92bn (£2.22bn) compared with €2.83bn (£2.15bn) in the same period last year.

The company said the decline in the third quarter in Europe, which contrasted with strong sales growth in the first six months of the year, began in November and reflected lower levels of tourism in the region.

Meanwhile, sales growth for the company over the nine-month period to December were flat at constant exchange rates (but increased by 11% at actual rates).

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