Richemont hit by Asia slowdown

Cartier-owner Richemont admitted it had suffered a surprise slow-down in sales growth in Asia yesterday, spooking investors across the entire luxury goods sector.

The Swiss-based luxury goods group, which owns a clutch of expensive watch and jewellery brands as well as fashion names including Net-a-Porter, Chloé and Azzedine Alaia, announced sales growth in the Asia-Pacific region was flat over the three months to January – the first time in four years that it didn't rise.

Richemont also warned the outlook for the year ahead was difficult, saying it was "unclear how business patterns may develop and how the business in the Asia Pacific region will evolve".