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Richemont seeks investors for YNAP as jewelry shines in first half

ZURICH (Reuters) – Luxury goods group Richemont said on Friday it was in advanced talks with Farfetch as it seeks to turn its loss-making Yoox-Net-a-Porter (YNAP) business into an industrial platform neutral, a proposition that is likely to appeal to critical investors.

Richemont said ongoing discussions included Farfetch investing directly in YNAP as a minority shareholder, with other investors invited to participate alongside, with a view to creating an industry-wide neutral platform, said the maker of Cartier in a press release.

This decision should appease the activist investors who would have entered the capital of the group. Longtime shareholder Artisan Partners spoke publicly this week to criticize YNAP’s poor performance.

Richemont also reported a jump in its net profit to 1.249 billion euros ($ 1.43 billion) in the first half of its 2021/2022 fiscal year, beating forecasts by 1.151 billion euros in a Refinitiv poll. , but remained cautious for the months to come.

“For the second half of the year, volatility is expected to persist, including in terms of inflation and geopolitical tensions. The Group will also face difficult benchmarks,” the group also known for IWC watches said in a statement.

Richemont said sales rose 65% at constant exchange rates, helped by a very low comparison basis. In published data, they are up 63% to 8.907 billion euros, also ahead of a forecast of 8.536 billion euros.

French luxury goods group LVMH said last month that like-for-like sales rose 20% in the third quarter, while Kering reported a 12.2% increase. Both have reported a slowdown in Asia due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

($ 1 = 0.8740 euros)

(Report by Silke Koltrowitz, edited by Riham Alkousaa and Paul Carrel)

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