Richemont looks for investors for YNAP as jewelry shines in H1

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FILE PHOTO: High-end jewelry is displayed at the Cartier store at Place Vendme in Paris, France July 2, 2019. Businesshala / Regis Duvignau
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ZURICH (Businesshala) – Luxury goods group Richmont said on Friday it was in advanced talks with Farfetch as it seeks to turn its loss-making yokes-net-a-porter (YNAP) business into a neutral, industry platform , an offer that should please significant investors.

The Cartier maker said in a statement that current discussions include investing Farfetch directly as a minority shareholder in YNAP, with other investors to be invited to participate in the wake of creating a neutral, industry-wide platform.

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The move should appease active investors who have reportedly infused the group’s capital. Longtime shareholder Artisan Partners spoke publicly this week to criticize YNAP’s weak performance.

Richmont reported a 1.249 billion euro ($1.43 billion) jump in net profit for the first half of its fiscal year 2021/2022, beating a forecast of 1.151 billion euros in a Refinitiv poll, but remained cautious for months ahead .

“For the second half of the year, volatility, including inflation and geopolitical tensions, is likely to persist. The group will also face challenging comparisons,” the group, also known for IWC watches, said in a statement.

Richmont said sales in constant currencies rose 65%, helped by a very weak comparison base. On a reported basis, they rose 63% to 8.907 billion euros, well ahead of the forecast of 8.536 billion euros.

French luxury goods group LVMH said last month there was a 20% increase in similar sales in the third quarter, while Kering reported a 12.2% increase. Both flagged a slowdown in Asia due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

($1 = 0.8740 Euro)

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz Editing by Riham Alkausa and Paul Carell

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