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Chinese shoppers lift luxury giant Richemont

STORY: Chinese shoppers are snapping up high-end goodies once again.

And that’s giving some of Europe’s big brands a shot in the arm.

Switzerland’s Richemont said Friday (May 12) that sales grew 22% over the three months to the end of March.

That was better than expected, and propelled its shares to record highs.

Richemont is the maker of brands including Cartier, Montblanc, Piaget and many more.

It saw strong growth in most regions, and its chairman said China is doing much better after the end of lockdowns.

Rivals including LVMH and Birkin-bag maker Hermes have already said they’re benefiting from a strong upturn in demand there.

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But Richemont’s sales numbers far outpaced even the most bullish forecasts.

Its operating profit for the year jumped by more than a third to over $5.5 billion.

Analysts say it’s more evidence of polarization in the luxury market, with the big names outperforming while smaller brands struggle.

Richemont has played down talk that it could be the subject of a takeover, or tie up with a big rival.

It denied reports that LVMH had approached it over buying the Cartier brand.