Luxury goods group Richemont said today that economic and geopolitical uncertainties were weighing on customer sentiment.
The company's comments came after it said its underlying net profit fell in the six months to September 30 and sales growth slowed towards the end of the period.
"Amidst growing volatility in consumer demand, partly attributable to an uncertain economic and geopolitical environment, we maintain confidence in our ability to realise our long term ambitions," the maker of IWC watches and Cartier jewellery said today.
Swiss luxury watchmakers have seen sales growth slow recently, with exports to their biggest markets, Hong Kong and the US, turning negative in September.
Investors have been fretting over a slowdown in Chinese spending amid a trade war with the US, but luxury firms like Hermes and Kering have reported solid sales growth and played down fears of cooling demand in China.
Richemont said group sales grew 8% at constant currency, down from 10% during the five-month period.
This was excluding the contribution of recently acquired online distributors Yoox Net-a-Porter and Watchfinder.
The world's second largest luxury group said sales in Asia Pacific, its biggest market, rose 14% with high single-digit sales growth in mainland China and double-digit increases in Hong Kong, Macau and Korea.
But sales in Europe increased only 1%, reflecting "mixed performances in terms of markets, product lines and channels as well as the disposal of Lancel", the Geneva-based company said.
Profit for the period more than doubled to €2.25 billion, mainly due to a €1.38 billion post-tax non-cash gain on the revaluation of existing shares following the full acquisition of Yoox Net-a-Porter.
But excluding the one-off gain, net profit slid to €875m from €974m a year earlier.