Richemont’s third-quarter sales up 16 percent

Strong Christmas demand and favorable exchange rates led to a 16 percent increase in third-quarter sales for Richemont’s jewelry products and specialty goods, Reuters reports.

Richemont, the world’s second-biggest luxury goods group, said on Thursday sales at constant exchange rates, not including the effects of a strong U.S. dollar on exchange rates, climbed 13 percent from the same period in the previous year.

The company, which has 17 luxury goods brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Vacheron Constantin, said all its business areas performed well despite challenging comparison figures after a luxury goods recovery in 2004, Reuters reports.

“All business areas performed strongly, benefiting from the generally favorable worldwide economic environment and strong demand for the Maisons products,” Richemont reportedly said in a statement.

Richemont, which also owns an 18 percent stake in British American Tobacco Plc, does not publish an absolute sales figure, Reuters reports.

Sales were reportedly around $2.5 billion in the first half while operating profit was 334 million.

Richemont reportedly said it benefited from a buoyant mood in the luxury goods market in the three months to end-December.

Richemont reportedly said sales in Asia were up 26 percent in the period at current exchange rates, while revenues from the Americas were up by the same amount. Sales in Japan rose 14 percent, benefiting from a revitalized economy.

Overall, current-exchange-rate sales at the jewelry brands rose 15 percent, watchmakers climbed 19 percent, writing instruments such as the MontBlanc brand rose 18 percent and leather goods, including Lancel and Dunhill, were up 13 percent, Reuters reports.

Other businesses, which include fashion house Chloe, were up 22 percent, Richemont reportedly said.

Dunhill and Lancel are not turning profits but Grieve reportedly said the company still aimed to stop the losses from its Lancel division in the coming financial year, helped by a second flagship store for the leather goods brand in Paris.

Sales at the company’s Chloe fashion house doubled in the third quarter, Richemont reportedly said.