Richemont promotes from within to speed up watch recovery
Luxury giant Richemont, the company behind brands such as Cartier, Dunhill, and Montblanc, is looking to speed up recovery at its watch business. To do so, it has appointed Richemont veteran Jerome Lambert to the newly created role of chief operating officer.
Demand for the company’s timepieces has been increasing gently over the year, as the luxury sector sees a recovery and lower-priced luxury watches struggle to keep pace with their pricier rivals. But it is unlikely that things will go back to the way they were: the luxury sector is evolving, and Richemont is working hard to capture the online interest that some of its brands – notably, Cartier – are evoking.
Cartier’s share price has risen by 28% so far this year
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
The company’s chief financial officer, Burkhart Grund, told analysts on Friday that “the traditional wholesale trade, especially in watches, will disappear. It’s a tough place out there. We still have a challenging situation in the watch trade due to stock levels. Without the effect of buybacks, watch sales were flat with trade partners. ” Nonetheless, Grund feels that “we now have the management structure in place that we need to meet the challenges.”
Analysts are speculating that Lambert could be groomed for the top job. Richemont has not had a CEO since Richard Lepeu retired earlier this year. Citi’s Thomas Chauvet describes Lambert’s new position as a “quasi-CEO” role, while Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca said that Lambert was “the most solid candidate to become at one point CEO.”
Dominion holds Richemont in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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