Zurich (AFP) - Richemont, the world's second-largest luxury goods firm that owns Cartier and Montblanc, said on Thursday that the strength of the euro hit its sales in the final quarter of last year.
Sales hit 2.9 billion euros ($3.9 billion) in the quarter, a 9.0-percent gain in local currencies, but only three percent when converted into euros, the Swiss group said.
For the nine months of its non-standard fiscal year, sales were up by 9 percent in local currency to 8.2 billion euros, but only up 4 percent in euros.
The sales were slightly below analyst expectations.
"The strengthening of the euro against the dollar and yen had a negative impact on the Group?s reported sales," it said in a statement.
Sales continued to fall in China, where a government crackdown on graft which often took the form of bribes in the form of expensive gifts, has hit luxury firms.
"The anti-gifting has basically destroyed that portion of the market," said Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux financial services firm.
"I see de-stocking in mainland China lasting a little bit longer still," he added.
In the Asia-Pacific region except Japan, sales increased by just one percent in the quarter.