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Richemont profits up 28 percent in first half

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AFP
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today Nov 16, 2007
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GENEVA, Nov 16, 2007 (AFP) - Richemont, the world's second-biggest luxury goods group, recorded Friday, november 16th a 28 percent increase in net profit for the first half of the financial year, up to 824 million euros (1.201 billion dollars).


Jaeger-LeCoultre

The net profit figure beat analysts' forecasts as did earnings before interest and taxes, which were also up 28 percent to 560 million euros, an interim results' statement from the company said.

Sales rose 11 percent to 2.548 billion euros and cash generated by the group's luxury goods operations was 268 million euros, the statement said.

Richemont, a holding company controlled by the South African Rupert family, owns some of the world's most prestigious luxury brand names, ranging from Cartier, Piaget and Van Cleef to Dunhill, Lancel and Montblanc.

The strong results came on the back of particularly strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region and its 22 percent increased share in British American Tobacco, Richemont said.

British American Tobacco, the maker of Dunhill, Kent and Lucky Strike cigarettes, posted bumper third-quarter profits earlier this month.

"In general, the market for luxury goods has remained favourable and Richemont has been well positioned to take advantage of this with its first-class portfolio of Maisons and broad geographic footprint," the company said.

"Overall, the Group achieved a high level of profitability over the first half of the year. However, recent, marked movements in exchange rates linked to the current uncertainties in financial markets will make the second half of the year more testing," said a statement from executive chairman Johann Rupert.

Nevertheless, Rupert said he was confident end of year results would be comfortably ahead of last year.

Richemont also announced Friday that it had acquired the watch case manufacturer, Donze-Baume SA, in a private transaction with the family shareholder group.

Donze-Baume supplies many of the leading Swiss specialist watchmaking companies, including some of Richemont's own luxury houses.

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