Rising Gold Prices and Tourism Drive Luk Fook Jewelry Sales

Retail sales at Hong Kong based jeweler Luk Fook soared in the third fiscal quarter as tourism recovered and the price of gold surged.

Sales grew 46% year on year for the three months that ended December 31, 2023, the company said last week. The rise comes on the back of a mounting revival in visitor traffic to the municipality since early last year, when the border reopened as the latest Covid-19 restrictions eased. Sales were up 40% compared to the same period of 2019, prior to the start of the pandemic.

“Following the complete reopening of borders among Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland, the Hong Kong and Macau market has shown a sustained recovery,” the company reported. “Despite an annual rise of over 14% in the average international gold price overall same store sales for gold products still displayed significant growth of 80%.”

In Hong Kong and Macau specifically, retail sales spiked 97%, with same-store sales those at branches open for at least a year gaining 80%. On the mainland, those figures increased 37% and 18% respectively.

Same store sales of gold products jumped 94% in Hong Kong and Macau, as the rising price of gold led to higher value transactions. In that category, fixed price gold jewelry as opposed to gold sold by weight rose 88%, while diamond-set jewelry went up 25%.

In China, same store sales of gold products advanced 22%. Fixed priced gold jewelry was up 23%, somewhat offsetting a 35% drop in diamond-set jewelry.

Source: Diamonds.net

Low Diamond Demand, Struggling Chinese Economy Dent TSL

Hong Kong-based jeweler Tse Sui Luen (TSL) reported a loss in the first fiscal half amid economic challenges in China and dwindling demand for diamond jewelry.

The company’s net loss came to HKD 58.3 million ($7.5 million) for the six months that ended September 30, compared with a profit of HKD 1.8 million ($230,000) a year ago, TSL said last week. Sales for the period rose 8% to HKD 1.35 billion ($172.8 million).

Revenue in mainland China, TSL’s biggest market, decreased 3.2% to HKD 870.6 million ($111.7 million) as consumers tightened their budgets in light of the challenging economy. The company also sold more gold products as diamond demand dropped.

“Affected by international economic concerns and China’s property sector challenges, consumers are more conservative in their spending,” the company stated. “The Chinese government has rolled out measures to bolster consumer confidence and speed up economic recovery, which has led to some improvement in retail sales. Riding on the uptrend of pure gold demand, the group has focused more on [that] business to partially compensate for the loss of sales caused by the sharp decline in diamond demand.”

In Hong Kong and Macau, sales surged 41% to HKD 407.5 million ($52.3 million) as the municipality saw a steady rebound in tourism following the reopening of its border with mainland China. The company also benefited from the Hong Kong government’s distribution of new stimulus vouchers, as well as large-scale campaigns to stimulate the economy.

“These government initiatives helped the group to achieve a notable increase in the turnover of its Hong Kong and Macau retail business,” Tse Sui Luen added.

Source: Diamonds.net

Hong Kong Luxury Sales Strengthen Amid Tourism Boom

Hong Kong Luxury Sales Strengthen Amid Tourism Boom

Hong Kong retail sales continued to gain speed in July as tourists flocked back to the municipality and the job market improved.

Hong Kong retail sales from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts climbed 20% year on year to HKD 4.95 billion ($632.9 million) for the month, according to data the government’s Census and Statistics Department released last week. Retail sales across all product categories rose 17% to HKD 33 billion ($4.22 billion).

The growth also reflected a favorable comparison with the same period a year ago, when Hong Kong was experiencing tight Covid-19 restrictions. Tourism to the municipality was exceptionally low at the time. Much of Hong Kong’s luxury revenue is derived from visitors — primarily from China — who travel there to purchase goods. Hong Kong’s border with the mainland reopened at the start of the year.

For the first seven months, proceeds from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts surged 64% to HKD 35.36 billion ($4.52 billion). Total retail sales for the period jumped 20% to HKD 238.05 billion ($30.43 billion).

In July, 3.6 million visitors arrived in Hong Kong, compared to 48,048 during the same month last year. Of those who traveled to the municipality in June, 3 million were from the mainland, versus 40,083 in 2022.

“The value of total retail sales continued to increase visibly in July over a year earlier alongside the increase in visitor arrivals and positive consumption sentiment,” a government spokesperson said. “The revival in inbound tourism should continue to benefit the retail sector in the coming months. Improved labor-market conditions and the government’s various measures to support consumption should also help.”

Source: rapaport

Hong Kong Retail Sales Plunge

Hong Kong Retail data

Sales of jewelry and other luxury items in Hong Kong slid in October, marking the second-highest monthly decline on record as protests in the municipality dented consumer sentiment.

Revenue from jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts fell 43% year on year to HKD 3.92 billion ($500.2 million) during the month, the municipality’s Census and Statistics Department reported Monday. . Sales across all retail categories slipped 24% to HKD 30.12 billion ($3.85 billion).

Demonstrations against an extradition bill have been ongoing since June, interfering with retail sales and hitting local consumer sentiment and tourism. Although the bill has been scrapped, violence in the municipality has continued.

“[Total] retail sales continued to plunge in October, and showed the largest year-on-year decline for a single month on record, as the local social incidents…depressed consumption sentiment and severely disrupted tourism and consumption-related activities,” a government spokesperson noted.

August showed the highest decline for jewelry since the Census and Statistics Department began publishing results in 2005. While January was the only month this year to note an increase, leading to a nine-month consecutive decline, sales during August, September and October each fell more than 40%.

The situation has led to a sharp drop in travelers from China and abroad, as well as weakened local purchasing. Tourism in Hong Kong was down 44% to 3.3 million visitors in October, the Hong Kong Tourism Board reported. Of those, 2.5 million came from mainland China, 46% fewer than the same period last year.

The government expects weakness in the market to continue as conditions persist, stressing that the market would likely not improve until the unrest subsided.

“Ending the violence in the local social incidents and restoring social order are crucial to the creation of an environment for the retail business to recover,” the spokesperson added, noting the government would continue to monitor the situation’s repercussions on both the municipality’s labor market and the overall economy.

In the first 10 months of the year, retail sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts decreased 19% to HKD 57.67 billion ($7.37 billion). Sales in all retail categories for the January-to-October period fell 9% to HKD 365.12 billion ($46.6 billion).

Source: Diamonds.net