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Richemont reaps luxury good sales boom in Asia

GENEVA, Jan 17, 2011 – Luxury goods giant Richemont said on Monday that its third quarter sales grew by one third to 2.1 billion euros ($2.8 billion), driven by booming demand in Asia.

Worldwide sales for the group\’s October to December accounting period reached 2.1 billion euros, an increase of 33 percent, although the change would only have been 23 percent measured in constant exchange rates, Richemont said in a statement.

Europe was still the group\’s biggest market, growing by 20 percent to 791 million euros, but growth in Asia reached 57 percent over the quarter, with 772 million euros in sales as consumer spending gained momentum with the economic recovery.

Chief executive Johann Rupert said the group\’s brands, such as Cartier, Montblanc and Jaeger-LeCoultre, "performed well and saw good sales growth, particularly at the retail level."

But he cautioned that it would be "more challenging" to match those growth rates in the final quarter of the group\’s 2010 – 2011 financial year, since they would compare with a period when the recovery was already having an impact on the luxury goods market.

Richemont in November reported an 87 percent surge in its first half net profit to 664 million euros but hinted at a slowdown in the robust revival in demand over the coming months.

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