Excluding Yoox-Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP) and Watchfinder, which have been consolidated in the Group’s accounts since 1 May 2018 and 1 June 2018 respectively, sales for the period increased by 10% at constant exchange rates and by 7% at actual exchange rates.
The following commentary on the Group’s performance refers to year-on-year movements at constant exchange rates. Double digit sales growth during the first five months was primarily driven by strong performance by the Jewellery Maisons, where sales grew 14%, and the first-time consolidation of Online Distributors. For this new business area, which regroups YNAP and Watchfinder, sales grew at a double digit rate.
In order to provide meaningful comparisons to the prior year period, the comments below relate to current period sales excluding YNAP and Watchfinder. All regions, with the exception of the Middle East, posted growth, led by solid momentum in Asia Pacific and the Americas. Hong Kong, Korea and Macau all generated double digit increases while China showed good growth. Europe had mixed performances throughout the region and was impacted by the strength of the euro and a challenging year-on-year comparison in the United Kingdom. In Japan, growth reflected both higher domestic and tourist spending.
Retail sales increased by 14%, with growth in all regions, most notably in Asia Pacific and the Americas. Retail sales were driven by strong performances by the Jewellery Maisons and the Specialist Watchmakers. Wholesale sales increased 2%, reflecting our continued focus to align inventories with end-client demand. Richemont’s other businesses reported a 4% sales growth, partly impacted by the divestments of Lancel and Shanghai Tang. Most Maisons performed positively, led primarily by Peter Millar and Azzedine Alaïa, and a solid performance from Montblanc.