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Richemont: full-year profit falls, dividend cut

( - Swiss luxury goods company Compagnie Financière Richemont posted lower-than-expected results, causing its shares to fall 1% Friday.

The owner of brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget, said full-year net profit for the year ended 31 March fell 67% to 931 million euros, mainly due to higher gold prices and "competitive" pricing in online fashion.

Its operating profit for the year decreased by 22% to 1.5 billion euros.

The world's second-largest luxury company by market capitalisation after LVMH said sales for the year increased by 2% at actual exchange rates to 14.2 billion euros, and were stable at constant exchange rates.

In its statement, Richemont said it recorded a "good sales performance" until the outbreak of Covid-19 in January.

In the fourth quarter of the financial year, however, sales dropped by 18% at actual exchange rates, with almost all regions impacted by the pandemic.

Citing "very limited visibility" today, the company has halved its dividend to 1 Swiss franc per share, from 2 Swiss francs a year ago.

Richemont shares, which have fallen by 32% year-to-date, fell 1.7%, underperforming a firm Swiss stockmarket.

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