Hublot CEO: China markets the main focus (updated)

Hublot, one of the leading luxury watch makers in Switzerland, is targeting China markets even more. The company, part of the LVMH (LVMH) Group, market cap 186 billion euros, and its Watch division, said the same thing already a year ago, but the target is still the same. According to the CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot is aiming to become one of the leading watch brands in China and Greater China.

– We are focusing on China and Greater China markets. Our aim is to be one of the leading watch brands in China and Greater China, Mr Guadalupe said in the ComteamPUB+ interview on Thursday.

The company has not revealed the export figures, but according to Swiss Watch Industry information the China, Hong Kong and Singapore markets totalled nearly 30 % of the overall Swiss watch exports. In May the export totalled over 2 billion Swiss francs, growth 11,4 %. The biggest growth was in the premium & luxury watches, which are priced over 3000 francs.

The company is expecting a very strong growth for this year. The double-digit growth is said to continue “over the end of the year” according to Mr Guadalupe.

China is seen one of the fastest growing luxury markets in the future. In 2018 the Chinese consumers spent about 115 billion dollars on luxury items, which is one third of the global spending. And this is expected to growth in the future also so that by 2025 40 % of the world’s spending on luxury goods would be by Chinese consumers (McKinsey). So, it is not a surprise that Mr Guadalupe is talking about China.

Is luxury becoming more common?

This question is about the luxury spending and how the luxury markets are expected to develop in the future. But Mr Guadalupe has a point.

-Absolutely not for the real luxury, he says.

And he is referring for the real thing. Real luxury has always its prestige and value among its users. And this is also part of the demand for the vintage or retro luxury items in the markets at the moment.

For example financial markets are expecting the US company RealReal to be listed in New York. The company is an online marketplace for luxury products and according to the company info the trading of the shares are expected to start today, not yesterday as earlier estimated. The company raised 300 million dollars, at 20 dollars each, above the 17-19 dollars range earlier estimated. Sustainable, circular luxury is also entering the main markets.

Hublot and “Art of Fusion”

The clear sustainable standing point for Hublot is the materials. The company has been innovative and finding new ways to integrate different materials in the watch production over years. It is part of the company ideology of the Art of Fusion – the way the tradition of high-quality Swiss craftsmanship and innovation can be combined.

The material lists include magic gold, carbon, rubber, aluminium, ceramic, king gold, palladium, platinum, stainless steel, tantalum, titanium, tungsten, zirconium, osmium and aluminium. Hublot can say that it has clearly been the innovator in this area in the Swiss watch industry.

The company says that it is now also working with sustainable bags while the banning of plastic bags is already a trend in Europe.

Collaboration with Ferrari and FIFA

– The collaboration with Ferrari and our involvement in FIFA World Cup are our two main partnerships, Guadalupe says.

– This year we have two collaborations with Ferrari. The Classic Fusion Ferrari GT, which is an elegant and contemporary piece that draws inspiration from the “Gran Turismo” universe. And the Big Band Scuderia Ferrari 90 ans. This is a model that reflects the rich history and heritage of Scuderia Ferrari, he continues.

Japanese food and sea

But what does Mr Guadalupe do for the summer time? Japanese food and sea.

– Food can be compared to the watch industry in a certain way for their attention to quality, time and details. I like to spend my holidays in the Mediterranean, at Mykonos or Ibiza. Holidays is for me synonymous with relaxing, sport and good food, he concludes.

Hublot, which was founded in Switzerland in 1980, has made the journey with innovation and unique products. Watches like Big Bang have paved the way to new flagship collections like Classic Fusion and Spirit of Big Bang.

Picture: Hublot classic watches from BaselWorld 2017-2019

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Notre Dame reconstruction is not affecting insurance industry

The fire in the French cathedral Notre Dame is not affecting insurance industry as such. According to several media sources the Unesco heritage site was on the responsibility of the French Goverment.

 The German Handelsblatt wrote on Wedensday evening that the cathedral did not have insurance coverage and that the French Goverment is expected to pay the reconstruction expenses. This news was based on the information in the La Parisien newspaper.

 The estimate of the expenses is several billion euros. On the other hand there have been major donations to the rebuilding project and it is expected that the Goverment will launch a fund dedicated to the project. One of the major donations companies, the French luxury company Kering (KER) with the brands Gucci, Boucheron, Dodo and Saint Laurent, said that they do not want the tax relief related to their 100 million euros donation.

The major art treasuries in the cathedral were insured by the French insurer Axa (AXA) and major part of them are now placed in the Louvre museum. The share price of Axa closed today up 0,45% to 23,68 euros in Paris Stock Exchange. The share price of  the luxury company Kering was also up and the share closed up 0,86 % to 537,50 euros. The LVMH stock closed also up, 1,49 % to 350, 50 euros.

Business Finance

Luxury brands helping to rebuild Notre Dame

French luxury brands Kering (KER) and LVMH (LVMH) are helping to rebuild the Paris cathedral Notre Dame.

The reconstruction of the Unesco heritage site will take long time after the fire on Monday. Kering has announced it will donate 100 million euros to the reconstruction and LVMH 200 million euros.

According to the LVMH’s release the company will put all of its teams (creative, architectural and financial) at the disposal of the project.

The Kering share price was down 0,09 % to 531 euros and the LVMH’s up 0,20 % to 342 euros.

Finance Lifestyle

LVMH revenue growth + 16 % 12,5 billion euros Q1 2019

The world largest luxury group,the French LVMH Group (LVMH) published today its first quarter revenues. According to the company info, the total revenue was 12,5 billion euros, with 16 % growth from the year earlier. The company share was up 0,75 % to 329, 75 euros in Paris Stock Exchange. The S&P global luxury index was up 0,48 % to 3341,95 points today.

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Picture: Hublot´s and Ferrari´s co-operation in the BaselWorld 2019

One of the best increases was in the fashion & leather division, which showed a 20 % increase. According to LVMH, the luxury fashion brand Christian Dior performed exceptionally well during the period. In the wines division, the Hennessy cognat increased by 11 %. Perfumes showed an increase of 12 % and watches & jewellery 9 %.  Selective retailing increased by 13 %.

-The innovative products presented by LVMH’s watch brands at the Baselworld Watch & Jewelry Fair were very well received, including Hublot’s Classic Fusion Ferrari GT watch, Bvlgari’s Serpenti Seduttoriand Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic watches, TAG Heuer’s connected watch model for golfers, and Zenith’s new Defy Inventor and Defy El Primero 21 Carbon models, the group said in the press release.

The Group has also opened a new brand flagship store in New York, in the ultra modern and high-design area in the Hudson Yards Development in Manhattan. From the online sales, the group said “the online sales grew strongly”.

The Group is arranging a confcall for analysts on Thursday for more information.

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LVMH: Hublot´s sale 250 million watches during the fairs

Jean-Claude Biver, the President of the LVMH´s Watch Division, estimates that  Hublot will sell 250 million watches during the BaselWorld fairs. The event, which is seven days long started on the 21st and they will end next week Tuesday. Biver commented the fairs in the interview in the Basler Zeitung on Saturday.

The event is important for watch manufacturers for two reasons as Biver says: ” Naturally we would like to make turnover, but the direct contact with the customer is also important – and that is why the BaselWorld is a double win for us.”

There has been speculation about the future concept of the BaselWorld after the Swiss Group Swatch decided not to take part in the event. According to Biver, the LVMH Group, which includes watch brands Hublot, Tag Heuer  Bvlgari and Zenith,  has given time to the fairs and their decision to take part in the next year event will be decided next week.

He also critiseses the decision to integrate the Genf Salon de la Haute Horlogerie and Baselworld. According to the decision the two events would both be in April next year, when the Genf event has always been in January.  Biver says that he would like to see both events to take place in January in order to have the full potential of  a calendar year.

 

 

Lifestyle

Hublot to present new Ferrari watch in Basel

Hublot, part of the French LVMH (LVMH) Group,  presented several exceptional new timepieces at Baselworld 2019, including the new Ferrari watch.

– Continuing its long collaboration with Ferrari, Hublot also unveiled the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT, a watch, whose innovative design integrates the new Unico manufacture movement and the dynamic lines of Gran Turismo very high-performance luxury cars, the company says.

According to Hublot this collaboration has also for the first time enabled Hublot teams to fuse their skills with those of the “Centro Stilé Ferrari” design center. This was one fo the new moments with creating new bridges between watchmaking motorization and automotive design.

 

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