Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the world’s largest jewelry maker, posted the slowest start to a year since the global recession as consumers held back on buying luxury goods in Hong Kong, halting Asian growth. Sales rose 4 percent excluding currency shifts in the five months through August, the Geneva-based owner of the Cartier and Montblanc brands said in a statement yesterday. That’s the weakest growth for those months since 2009. Analysts estimated a 6 percent gain. Revenue slid in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, driving sales from the Asia-Pacific region to a standstill. That market was the source of 40 percent of Richemont’s sales last year. Luxury-goods makers such as LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA have been reporting weaker Asian consumption after the Chinese government’s crackdown on bribery and extravagant spending.
The Buzz | Richemont sales miss analysts’ estimates