Christian Dior Couture Profits Rise

Fashion House Sees Strong Sales

PARIS — First-half sales at Christian Dior Couture increased 5 percent at constant exchange rates to 366 million euros, or $560.2 million. In reported terms, revenues dipped 0.5 percent.

This story first appeared in the August 5, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In a statement released late last week, Dior said sales at the Paris-based fashion house remained strong in the emerging markets of China, Russia and the Middle East, as well as in Europe. The company said the growth, compared with a 16 percent organic revenue gain in the first half last year, “attests to the strength of the brand in an uncertain economic environment.”

Operating profits at Dior totaled 7 million euros, or $10.7 million, compared with 28 million euros, or $37.2 million, in the year-ago period. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates.

The company stated that operating profits in 2008 reflect charges incurred in the first half as a result of renovating its store network and reorganizing its supply chain.

Details about the Dior fashion business were released in tandem with results for Christian Dior Group, the parent of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior Couture. Revenues at the holding company rose 11 percent at constant exchange to 8.15 billion euros, or $12.48 billion, while the group share of net profit dipped 1.7 percent to 352 million euros or $538.8 million.

Despite an uncertain economic and monetary environment, the Christian Dior Group confirmed its objective of a tangible increase in 2008 results, with growth hinged on product launches and international expansion in the second half.