Richemont Closes a Cartier Watch Factory

The Richemont Group, the world's second-largest luxury goods company, is restructuring some of its watchmaking operations. The group's luxury watch brands include A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Dunhill, IWC, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, and Van Cleef & Arpels. The changes follow what group executive chairman Johann Rupert, in a June 5 annual report, called "a very difficult [fiscal] year," which ended March 31. Richemont's net profits fell 22% to 642 million euros ($762 million), and operating profit fell 46% to 259 million ($307.4 million). Total sales dropped 5%, to 3.6 billion euros (just over $4 billion). In watch sales alone (including both those by jewelry houses like Cartier and specialist watchmakers like Panerai), there was a 5% decline to 1.7 billion euros ($1.8 billion). As part of its belt-tightening, Richemont is clo

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