Demand for luxury goods in Asia dips
RICHEMONT, THE world’s second-largest luxury goods group, has said sales growth in Asia has slowed markedly and Europe is now its fastest-growing region, assisted by tourist spending.
Asia-Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing luxury market and has helped offset the impact of reduced spending elsewhere as austerity measures bite.
But that effect could be fading as China’s red-hot growth starts to cool.
The Swiss maker of Cartier jewellery and IWC watches said yesterday that with Europe remaining strong, it was keeping its first-half outlook unchanged.
Its sales to Asia-Pacific – which make up more than 40 per cent of group sales – grew 12 per cent at constant exchange rates in the five months to the end of August, down from 46 per cent in its 2011-12 financial year to March.
However sales in Europe – where Asian shoppers often buy luxury goods while on holiday – rose 19 per cent, only slightly down on a 2011-12 growth rate of 20 per cent.
Sales in the Americas slipped to 6 per cent from 30 per cent. Richemont shares gained about 1.4 per cent in Zurich. – (Reuters)