Richemont said today it saw a marked improvement in the second quarter thanks to online retail sales and China.

This comes after the Cartier jewellery maker's net profit fell 82% in the six months to September 30 as the Covid-19 pandemic hit business. 

Richemont and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said last night that they were investing $1.1 billion - $550m each - in online luxury fashion retailer Farfetch and its new Chinese marketplace. 

Luxury goods groups have seen sales recover in the quarter to September, helped by a surge in e-commerce, but new lockdowns in Europe do not bode well for the rest of the year.  

"A strong presence in China and an acceleration in digital initiatives have partially mitigated the consequences of temporary store closures and a halt in tourism worldwide," Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert said in a statement. 

The Geneva-based group posted a net profit of €159m for its first half to September 30, hit by higher losses at online distributors YNAP and Watchfinder.

Sales were down 2% in constant currency in the quarter to September, after a 47% decline in the three months to June.