Richemont is the world's #2 luxury goods company behind LVMH. Unlike its French rival, whose biggest businesses are in wines, spirits, leather goods and fashion, Richemont is quite tightly concentrated on the area of luxury accessories, such as jewellery, watches, pens and personal accessories, divided up into separate self-contained "maisons". The group's most celebrated brand is Cartier, one of the world's leading manufacturers of watches and jewellery, with global sales well in excess of €6bn. It is partnered by the smaller but equally prestigious Van Cleef & Arpels. Both brands also lend their names to a range of watches, sitting alongside a selection of other prestige European manufacturers including Piaget, A Lange & Sohne, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger LeCoultre, Panerai, Baume & Mercier and IWC. In the field of accessories, brands include "fine writing instruments" by Montblanc - which has also expanded into watches and jewellery - as well as Dunhill, the Chloe fashion label and renowned British gunmaker Purdey. The group manages a large global physical retail estate for its various labels, and also now has full ownership of leading luxury ecommerce group Yoox Net-a-Porter, as well as specialist site Watchfinder. Revenues for the year to 2019 hit a new high of just under €14.0bn, while net income doubled to €2.8bn following an accounting gain on the acquisition of Yoox Net-a-Porter. The jewellery "maisons" alone contributed €7.1bn, with another €3.0bn from specialist watchmaking and €2.1bn from YNAP. Although many of its brands date back to the 19th century or even before, Richemont itself is a comparatively recent creation, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018. It forms a large part of the extensive investment empire of South Africa's Rupert family, whose other interests include mining, financial services, packaged goods and engineering, mostly under the Remgro investment umbrella. The group started as a maker of tobacco products, but sold its Rothmans International division to British American Tobacco in 1999, in return for a very profitable stake in the enlarged business. It finally divested these shares in 2008. Johann Rupert is chairman and controlling shareholder of Richemont. Jerome Lambert is CEO.
Capsule checked 23rd May 2019
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Historical profile information for Richemont
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Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Jan 2018: Luxury group Richemont jumped back into online retail again with an offer to buy the outstanding shares in publicly quoted Yoox Net-a-Porter for up to €2.69bn. The Swiss group is offering €38 a share, just over a quarter above YNAP's undisturbed share price. Richemont merged Net-a-Porter, which it then controlled, into Yoox in 2015 in return for a 25% stake in the merged company. The business has prospered in the intervening two years, with revenues up 12% last year to €2.1bn. YNAP claims an audience of 3.1m active users. However, competition is growing, not just from Amazon, but from fast expanding luxury specialists Farfetch - where Net-a-Porter's former founder Natalie Massenet is now co-chairman - and MatchesFashion.com.
Adbrands Weekly Update 10th Nov 2016: Luxury group Richemont - owner of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc - is to dispense with a CEO following the planned retirement of current incumbent Richard Lepeu. Controlling shareholder Johann Rupert will remain executive chairman, but the CEO's duties will be shared out among what are currently divisional heads. "It’s not possible for one individual to be CEO," said Rupert. "This was highlighted to me by poor Mr Lepeu, who ended up with 35 direct reports. We need to look at spreading that load and having a structure that allows managers more time to really address their responsibilities. My role will be the same as before. I am an air traffic controller of egos — and nothing’s changed." Georges Kern, currently chief executive of the group's IWC watch brand becomes head of watchmaking, marketing & digital; while Montblanc leader Jerome Lambert was named head of operations.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Sept 2015: Natalie Massenet, founder and CEO of luxury mail order firm Net-a-Porter, has resigned ahead of its effective takeover by no frills rival Yoox. Net-a-Porter has been controlled since 2010 by Cartier owner Richemont, but continued to lose money. Earlier this year, apparently against Massenet's wishes, Richemont agreed to sell the business to Yoox, whose own chief Federico Marchetti is to be CEO of the combined business. Massenet, who personally earned £140m from the sale, was to have become executive chairman.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd April 2015: Scotching earlier rumours of an approach from Amazon, luxury group Richemont signed off this week on a deal to merger its ecommerce business Net-a-Porter with Italy-based rival Yoox. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but Richemont will retain a 50% economic shareholding in the merged Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, but only 25% of voting rights. The business will also inherit Yoox' public listing on the Italian Stock Exchange. Net-a-Porter's Natalie Massenet becomes executive chairman while Yoox founder Federico Marchetti is CEO. Combined revenues will be around €1.3bn.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Feb 2015: Ads Of The Week: "The Proposal". For Cartier, here's a lovely film from director Sean Ellis, set in a version of Paris where literally everyone has models' good looks. No chubbies, uglies or even casual dressers here, even among the extras. (Also, only the lightest possible sprinkling of non-Caucasians or same-sex lovers...) However, the three intertwined stories are completely charming, and are likely to get even the most skinflint bloke thinking about a special gift for the one he loves.
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