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Asian luxury market boosts Richemont profits

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14:33 CEST+02:00

Swiss luxury goods group Richemont posted a steep rise in annual net profit on Wednesday as Asian demand for watches and jewellery showed no signs of abating.

Richemont, which owns the Cartier, Piaget and Montblanc brands reported that net profit rose 43 percent to €1.5 billion (1.8 million francs, $1.9 billion) in the year ending March 31st.

Operating profit increased 51 percent to €2 billion, while sales grew 29 percent to €8.9 billion, Richemont said in a statement.

The Asia-Pacific region generated the highest level of demand and following several years of "very strong" growth, now represented 42 percent of total sales.

"We are pleased to report that Richemont has achieved strong sales growth across all segments and all geographic regions, despite a volatile and diverse economic environment," said chief executive Johann Rupert in the statement.

The group said it was conscious of the unstable economic conditions in the eurozone however and in its outlook for the year said boutique openings would focus on growth markets and tourist destinations.

The board proposed an ordinary dividend of 0.55 Swiss francs per share, an increase of 22 percent compared to last year.

The share price was showing a gain of 6.7 percent to 56.95 francs in mid-day trading.

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