Since a year, the Richemont Group is operating a deep internal restructuration. First of all, the group announced the appointment of both Lambert as Head of Operations and Kern as Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital, followed by the “Big Reshuffle” at the head of several Maisons. Yet, this plan completely shattered on July 14th, 2017 when Georges Kern announced its departure from the group, as joining Breitling as new CEO. With the need to take action, Richemont is today appointing a new chief, in the name of Jérôme Lambert, to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer. Lambert will be responsible for all the Maisons other than Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. In addition to that, Richemont also published its mid-year results, and they are quite reassuring.
Jérôme Lambert Appointed COO of Richemont Group
it’s no big surprises to see Jérôme Lambert taking over most of the brands of the Richemont Group (with the exception of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels). Lambert is a child of the Group, who started as financial advisor at Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1996, to then become financial director in 1999, and in 2002, he will take the CEO position. In addition to that, from 2009 to 2012, he will look after Lange. In 2013, he will be appointed CEO of Montblanc, one of the cornerstones of the group. When Richemont announced its first shake-ups and the nomination of Kern and Lambert on top of the group, the latter was given the position of Head of Operations – everything not related to watchmaking – even if Montblanc was still under his control. This new structure led to what we named “the big Reshuffle”, as 4 CEOs (JLC, Vacheron, Piaget, Dunhill) were kindly asked to give back their seats. Yet, things changed when Georges Kern decided to change position and move to Breitling, which he took over with CVC Partners in mid-July 2017.
Mr Jérôme Lambert, at the time CEO of Montblanc
As a reaction to this, Lambert will now look over all the watchmaking brands (and some others brands, with different fields of action, such as Lancel, Chloé or Dunhill) of the group – Lange, Baume & Mercier, IWC, Jaeger, Montblanc, Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis and Vacheron. As the new COO of the group, he will look over almost all the brands, with the exception of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. In this position, he will be assisted by Mr Emmanuel Perrin, currently International Sales Director of Cartier, who will be appointed Head of Specialist Watchmakers Distribution. In this newly created position, he will be responsible for the coordination of all Specialist Watchmakers’ distribution strategies. Emmanuel Perrin, a member of the family of Alain-Dominique Perrin, CEO of Cartier for over 20 years, has a long track record inside the Richemont Group, with several positions at Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.
In addition to this important nomination, the Richemont Group also announces today the mid-2017 results. In short, they are extremely reassuring:
- Sales increased by 10% at actual exchange rates to €5,605 million vs. €5,086 million for the same period in 2016
- Growth in all segments, regions and distribution channels
- Double-digit growth in jewellery
- Asia is strongly driving the growth, with double-digit increases in mainland China, Korea, Hong Kong. The same can be seen in the United Kingdom.
- Operating profit increased by 46% to €1,166 million, with profit for the period up 80% to €974 million
Notes: Asia Pacific is showing an intense recovery, with a growth of sales of 25% compared to the same period in 2016. Then follow the Americas, with a growth of 10%. Middle-East and Europe remain quieter, still with a positive evolution of the numbers – +3% sales in both regions. Europe still represents 29% of overall sales, while Asia makes 39% of the Group sales, with mainland China being the largest market in the region.
In terms of activities, the Jewellery Maisons are still more active than the Watchmaking Maisons. Sales of Jewellery increased by 15% while sales of watches increased by 6%. Yet, the watchmaking branch shows an impressive +57% increase in Operating results. This is driven by a return to growth, the non-recurrence of inventory buy-backs and fixed costs discipline.