PARIS -- Net profit at Christian Dior Couture -- comprising the Dior fashion business but not Parfums Dior -- rose 14 percent in 1993 to $19.9 million (116 million francs) at current exchange rates. Sales gained 2 percent, to $130.1 million (760 million francs.)

A year ago, the company earned 102 million francs on sales of 748 million francs.

Dior Couture is part of Christian Dior SA, primarily a holding company through which Bernard Arnault indirectly controls LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Consolidated results of Dior SA reflect in large part its equity in LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate whose operations include Parfums Dior, Givenchy and Christian Lacroix fashion and fragrance, Louis Vuitton, Hennessy brandy and eight champagne brands including Veuve Clicquot, Pommery and Dom Perignon.

In 1993, Dior SA scored a 9 percent rise in net profit to $149.9 million (876 million francs), boosted by a strong second-half performance. Consolidated sales advanced 10 percent to $4.21 billion (24.62 billion francs).

"Signs of a recovery appeared in the beginning of the second half of 1993 and were translated into a strong rise in sales in the third and fourth quarters, just as much in fashion as in other sectors," said Dior SA in releasing figures.

The group also said that sales jumped 27 percent in February, compared with the same month a year earlier.

"If the trend of the last few months continues, the group should realize a very significant growth on net profit this year," Dior added.

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