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Richemont profit up 63%


Fin24 - May 19th 2011, 07:53

Johannesburg - Swiss based luxury goods group Richemont on Thursday reported a 79% rise in diluted earnings per share from continuing operations to €1.8925 from €1.076 previously.  

The group reported sales up 33% to €6.892bn at actual exchange rates, with strong growth across all segments and regions. Excluding the impact of, sales increased by 19% at constant exchange rates

The group's operating profit increased by 63% to €1.355bn, with record cash flow generated from operations of €1.696bn.

Excluding the impact of, the operating margin amounted to 20.9%.

The group has proposed a dividend of CHF 0.45 per share, representing an increase of 29%.

Richemont reported record sales and profits for its Jewellery Maisons and specialist watchmakers, despite the stronger Swiss franc. Profitability at Montblanc improved with progress also being seen in the performance of the Fashion and Accessories Maisons., which was acquired in April 2010, is performing ahead of its business plan.

Looking ahead, the group said sales in the month of April were 32% above the comparative period, or 35% at constant exchange rates.

"In an environment currently marked by geopolitical unrest and currency instability, we hope that this positive trend will be confirmed in the coming months," Johann Rupert, executive chairperson and CEO commented.

"The performance achieved in the year under review, following a major global economic crisis, confirms the appeal of each of the Maisons. We will continue to invest in their organic growth through higher levels of capital spending in manufacturing capacity and in the further development of the Group's own retail network, particularly in growth markets," he said.

Capital investments are therefore likely to range between 6% and 8% of sales in the next two years, he added.

"We intend to take advantage of the many opportunities to further develop our existing Maisons. We are more than ever encouraged by their growth potential and we believe it to be the best route for creating shareholder value," he concluded.

Share buy-back programme

The company announced that it would extend its share buyback programme to 15 million shares.

In May 2010, Richemont announced a programme envisaging the buy-back of 10 million of its own A bearer shares over a two year period, representing 1.74% of the capital and 0.96% of the voting rights of the company.

To 18 May 2011, 4 658 509 A bearer shares had been repurchased within the scope of this programme, representing 0.81% of the capital and 0.45% of the voting rights of the company.

The board of directors of CFR has decided to extend the buy-back programme by an additional 5 million A bearer shares. The extended buy-back programme thus amounts to 15 million A bearer shares of CFR, representing 2.61% of the capital and 1.44% of the voting rights of the company.

The shares acquired in the scope of the programme would be held in treasury to cover the obligations arising from the stock option plan, which benefits certain executives of the Richemont Group, it said.

The share buy-backs would be implemented by UBS SA (Investment Bank division) under market conditions, either on SIX Swiss Exchange or on JSE.

The repurchased shares would not be cancelled and the buy-back programme would not give rise to the opening of a special trading line, it added.  

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