Luxury goods group Richemont has announced the resignation of Simon
Critchell, the chief executive officer of its Alfred Dunhill Limited unit. The company also reported a 33 per cent rise in full-year net profit.

Critchell, who has been with Richemont for over 15 years, will stay on until 31 March 2006. Critchell said he was resigning to pursue personal projects.

Richemont has appointed Christopher Colfer as Critchell's replacement. Colfer was most recently responsible for a number of marketing initiatives within the company and has overseen the successful development of Richemont's smaller
brands, including Chloé, Hackett and Purdey.

He has also been responsible for a number of the Group's venture and development capital investments.

Richemont additionally reported a 33 per cent rise in net income to €881 million for the financial year ended March 2005. Analysts had forecast net income of €879m for the year.

The company reported a 15 per cent rise in sales in April and May this year, but said that the rate would not necessarily continue throughout the rest of the year.

Richemont said in a statement: "We are happy to report strong financial results for the financial year ended 31 March 2005. After the difficulties that the luxury goods industry has faced in recent years, it is heartening to see such a strong recovery in demand and the very positive impact that this has had on the Group's profitability."

The company added that the good results reflect the emphasis that it has been placing on  containing costs, "particularly in terms of support services in the regions and at the centre".