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Richemont full-year broadly in line, April trends weak

Shoppers pass a Cartier luxury store, operated by Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, in the Galeries Lafayette SA luxury department store in Paris, France.
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Shoppers pass a Cartier luxury store, operated by Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, in the Galeries Lafayette SA luxury department store in Paris, France.

Cartier owner Richemont said it didn't expect the trading environment to improve soon after underlying sales growth slowed further in the final quarter of its fiscal year and April sales fell 15 percent, hit by weak demand for watches in Hong Kong and Europe.

"Asia Pacific remained weak due to no recovery in Hong Kong and Macau, only partially offset by continued improvement in mainland China, which was up 26 percent on a constant rate basis," the Geneva-based maker of IWC watches and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry said in a statement on Friday, referring to April.

Makers of luxury watches are grappling with weaker demand from tourist shoppers in Europe, which is seeing fewer visitors following the Paris and Brussels attacks, and a collapse of their biggest market, Hong Kong.