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Russia's recession sees profits slide for European luxury goods and tourism

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Russia's recession sees profits slide for European luxury goods and tourism

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Russia’s slide into recession has predictably hit European tourism and luxury goods firm hard.

Despite making dramatic reductions and cost-cutting measures to limit the damage, there are few signs things will get better soon.

According to the UN’s World Tourism Organisation, spending on international travel by Russians fell by 6 percent in 2014, a sharp drop from growth of more than 20 percent in previous years.

The rouble lost almost half of its value against the U.S. dollar last year after oil prices crashed and the West imposed sanctions on Moscow over its stance on Ukraine.

Tax-refund company Global Blue says spending by Russian tourists fell 17 percent last year, and plunged 51 percent in January following a 44 percent fall in December.

Although there was an unexpected spike in sales for some in December as Russians offloaded fast-depreciating roubles for durable luxury goods such as Cartier watches, many brands are preparing for a tough 2015.