January 11, 2019 / 6:21 AM / in a month

Richemont says French protests weighed on sales momentum in Europe

PARIS, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Cartier owner Richemont on Friday posted a slight slowdown in the pace of underlying sales growth in the quarter to Dec. 31, with protests in France hitting business in Europe even as trading in mainland China stayed strong.

The Swiss group posted a 5 percent rise in sales at constant currencies in the October to December period, excluding recently acquired online distributors Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) and Watchfinder, a second hand platform.

That compared to 8 percent growth for the six months to end-September.

“Sales grew in all regions, with the exception of the Middle East and Europe,” Richemont said in a statement, adding that “sales in Europe were affected by social unrest in France which negatively impacted tourism and led to store closures for six consecutive Saturdays.”

Including YNAP and Watchfinder, sales were up 24 percent at constant currencies, in line with averaged analyst forecasts compiled by Inquiry Financial for Reuters. (Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)

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