Jewellery Divisions Fuel Impressive Growth for Richemont & Kering

Even though forecasts for the luxury industry indicate slow growth in 2024, the jewellery businesses of major luxury houses – Richemont and Kering are proving resilient against the ongoing global economic and geopolitical challenges. Shilpa Dhamija reports.

Richemont, the parent company of Cartier, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels noted an impressive 6% increase in sales (at actual exchange rates) of its jewellery division, exceeding €14 billion in the financial year April ’23-March ’24. Richemont’s jewellery business generated a 33.1% operating margin at actual exchange rates.

This growth was driven by high sales in the Asia-Pacific, Japan, the Middle East and Africa, across various price points. Notably, Richemont’s Italian jewellery brand Buccellati, which it acquired only in 2020, grew sales by double digits.

At all the three maisons, the signature classic collections performed well. For Cartier, the Trinity collection, celebrating its 100th year, and Clash de Cartier were very successful. Van Cleef & Arpels saw strong sales from its iconic Alhambra and Fauna collections, while Buccellati’s Opera Tulle and Macri lines drove the maison’s sales.

The Fauna rose gold ring adorned with mother-of-pearl, carnelian and onyx. By Van Cleef & Arpels.

In the high-jewellery segment Cartier’s Le Voyage Recommence, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Le Grand Tour collections and Mosaico by Buccelatti performed well.

In financial year (FY) 23-24, Richemont expanded its global jewellery network with 19 new stores in which Cartier got one, Van Cleef & Arpels,13 and Buccellati 5 new stores.

To capitalise on the strong performance of its jewellery division, Richemont will increase investments in manufacturing, distribution, and communication for its jewellery maisons this year. This May, Richemont added another Italian brand to its jewellery portfolio —  Vhernier, which was founded in 1984 in Milan.

Notably, Richemont’s jewellery division showed better growth in FY 22-23, than FY 23-24, generating €13.4 billion in sales and recording 21% growth over the year before, at actual exchange rates.

As for Kering, the parent company of iconic luxury brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Boucheron, has been experiencing a consistent decline in group sales over the past few quarters. The slump continued in the Jan-Mar ’24 quarter with 11% drop in group revenue.

However, Kering’s jewellery division, which includes Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo and Qeelin, together, delivered  better performance than the luxury fashion brands. Notably, Boucheron grew by a double-digit percentage. Its classic collection Quatre, celebrating its 20th anniversary, drove sales in the first quarter.

While Richemont and Kering’s jewellery divisions posted positive results, LVMH’s first-quarter results show that its jewellery brands did not fare as well.

LVMH, the parent company of Tiffany & Co, Bulgari, Fred, Repossi and Chaumet, recorded a modest 3% increase in the group’s organic revenue in Jan-Mar ’24 quarter. However, the group’s watches and jewellery division experienced a 2% drop in organic revenue even though its big jewellery names launched special products and marketing campaigns.

Tiffany & Co. continued global rollout of its new store concept inspired by its Landmark store in New York, Bulgari relaunched its B.zero1 collection and Chaumet unveiled the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games medals, created by the maison’s design studio.

Last year, in Q1, LVMH watches, and jewellery division recorded a better 11% organic revenue growth. In the last financial year (Jan ’23-Dec ’23), too, it noted a 7% increase in organic revenue year-on-year.

Last year’s growth was fuelled by the revamp of Tiffany & Co.’s iconic landmark store in New York and by Bulgari’s high-jewellery collections. The Italian watch and jewellery brand celebrated the 75th anniversary of its Serpenti collection that did well in both segments, according to an LVMH investor report.

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