14 SEP 2000
At the Annual General Meeting of Compagnie Financière Richemont AG held today in Zug, the shareholders approved the results for the year, including the proposals of the Board of Directors for the appropriation of retained earnings at 31 March 2000.
A dividend of € 24.00 per Richemont unit will be paid to unitholders by Richemont SA, Luxembourg, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Compagnie Financière Richemont AG. The dividend will be payable without deduction of withholding taxes or charges, on 2 October 2000 against presentation of coupon number 44. The dividend represents an increase of some 15 % over the amount paid in the prior year.
During the meeting, the Chairman, Dr Nikolaus Senn, made the following comments as to trading conditions:
"I would like to make a few comments on the Group’s performance in the current financial year. In the context of the announcement of the agreement between Richemont and Mannesmann for the acquisition of the LMH watch brands in July of this year, we announced that Group sales in the quarter to June 2000 had grown by approximately 30%. I can now advise that the positive trend of sales growth has been sustained in the months of July and August, such that for the five month period to end August, Group sales (excluding the incremental impact of acquisitions) grew by approximately 30 per cent. We therefore expect that Richemont’s operating results for the six month period to end September will be very good. These interim results will be announced on 20 November.
As widely understood, a substantial proportion of the Group’s annual sales are realised in the period October to December. In 1999 the performance in this quarter was particularly strong and we obviously cannot predict the level of sales in the months to come. As in the past, we intend to issue a brief trading statement next January in respect of the pre-Christmas period."
For its financial year ended 31 March 2000, Richemont reported an increase of 36.8 % in operating profit to € 534.1 million and an increase in attributable profit before exceptional items and goodwill amortisation of 15.9 %.
Richemont is a Swiss luxury goods group. The Group owns a portfolio of leading international brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc and Lancel as well as the prestigious haute horlogerie watch manufacturers Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Officine Panerai and Baume & Mercier. In July of this year Richemont also announced the acquisition of Les Manufactures Horlogères SA, which controls Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and Lange & Söhne.
In addition to its luxury goods business, Richemont also holds a 21.1 % interest in British American Tobacco p.l.c., the world’s second largest tobacco company.