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Europe, China Fueling Christian Dior Sales

Christian Dior Couture said late Friday that sales in the first quarter grew 5 percent at constant exchange rates.

PARIS — Christian Dior Couture said late Friday that sales in the first quarter grew 5 percent at constant exchange rates. In reported terms, sales were flat at 184 million euros, or $275.6 million.

This story first appeared in the April 21, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Sales at Christian Dior SA, the holding company for the Dior fashion house and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, rose 11 percent in organic terms to 4.18 billion euros, or $6.26 billion.

Dollar figures were converted using average exchange rates for the period.

Sidney Toledano, president and chief executive officer of Christian Dior, said the brand had strong double-digit growth in Europe, China and the Middle East during the quarter. But the modest gains reflect unfavorable currency exchange rates in the U.S. and Japan.

He also noted that Dior came up against difficult comps, and the brand trimmed some excessively priced products. Sales last year were bolstered by the launch of a large fine jewelry collection, Toledano said.