SWITZERLAND. Luxury goods powerhouse Richemont has increased its stake in Dufry, the world’s biggest travel retailer, to 7.5%. It confirmed the move during its results briefing last week.

Richemont initially acquired a 5% stake in Dufry last March. The luxury house told The Moodie Davitt Report in May that its motivation was to improve its presence across the retailer’s network and gain access to new locations.

Speaking to analysts on Friday, Chief Financial Officer Burkhart Grund said: “On Dufry, we increased from 5% to 7.5% and that’s where we stand. The more interesting part of the story for me is that we have sat with the management of Dufry and our Maisons, and we have worked on the business opportunities that we will now realise over the next few years. There is a deployment plan that has been worked out with the management and that is interesting.”

On Richemont’s luxury focus with key partners in travel retail, he added: “If you look at our distribution we are [also] quite strong with DFS. That is predominantly in the watch and jewellery segment and much more focused on an Asian footprint, even though they are branching out into other geographies.

“Dufry has a different regional footprint and we think there are more opportunities to be had in fashion, accessories and leathergoods and that’s what we’re working on right now with them. That’s the predominant part of the expansion that we envision for the future with that partner.”

Dufry did not comment, saying that Swiss stock exchange regulations only required Richemont to report its share increase once it crossed certain thresholds, including 3%, 5%, 10% and higher.

Richemont owns several of the world’s leading luxury goods companies, with particular strengths in jewellery, luxury watches and premium accessories. Its interests encompass several of the most prestigious names in the sector, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC Schaffhausen, Panerai and Montblanc.

Richemont says it has grown its shareholding in Dufry, noting the access it offers to new locations (Dufry at Rio de Janeiro T2 pictured)