Cartier maker Richemont is proposing to double its dividend after net profit rose by a third in its fiscal year 2020/21, helped by a strong performance of its jewellery brands and as it benefited from net finance income.

Luxury watch sales have been recovering recently from the severe pandemic hit.

Richemont, the second biggest company in luxury goods, has fared better than rival Swatch Group thanks to its exposure to the fast-growing jewellery category.

Richemont did not give an outlook for the year, but Chairman and controlling shareholder Johann Rupert cautioned that "volatility and low visibility are likely to prevail until there is herd immunity" against Covid-19.

Net profit at Geneva-based Richemont rose by 38% to €1.289 billion in the group's fiscal year to March, ahead of a forecast for €821m in a Refinitiv poll.

Sales fell 5% at constant exchange rates and 8% at actual rates to €13.14 billion, also beating the €13.02 billion estimate in the poll thanks to a strong recovery in the final quarter.

Bernstein analyst Luca Solca said the results were a "strong beat to consensus, built on the outstanding performance of Jewellery Maisons" Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Industry majors LVMH and Kering have reported rebounding sales in the first three months of 2021 - equivalent to Richemont's final quarter - as easing Covid-19 restrictions boosted sales in China and the US.

Richemont proposed a dividend of 2 Swiss francs per A share for fiscal 2020, after halving it to one franc amid the pandemic last year.