Oct 16, 2008
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Richemont eyes China interior for growth -Asia head

Oct 16, 2008

SHANGHAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Richemont , the world's second-largest luxury goods maker after LVMH LVMH.PS, will seek growth in China's interior while strengthening its presence on the country's affluent east coast, its Asia chief executive said on Thursday, October 16th.

Van Cleef & Arpels Libellules

Richemont, the maker of Cartier jewellery and Mont Blanc fountain pens, achieved sales growth of 20 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, in the five months from April to August, Alain Li told Reuters in an interview.

He declined to say, however, whether there had recently been signs of a slowdown as the global economy falters.

The Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, is now the second-largest market for the Swiss luxury goods maker and has been the group's fastest growing region over the past two years with a compound annual sales growth rate between 20 and 25 percent.

"We are still looking for opportunities and selective investments throughout China, first-tier, second-tier, and even now some third-tier cities," Li said.

"We even have a Cartier boutique in Urumqi," the capital of China's remote northwestern region of Xinjiang, he said.

Richemont operates more than 200 boutiques in China, its second-largest market, after Hong Kong, in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan, he said. (Reporting by Fang Yan; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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