PARIS -- Sales of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in the first quarter ended March 31 rose 28 percent, to $1.06 billion (6.02 billion francs) at current exchange rates, powered by strong performances at its Louis Vuitton business and by cognac interests.

Almost one quarter of the sales increase, the luxury goods conglomerate further reported, was due to acquisitions, mainly the Kenzo fashion and fragrance business. In the 1993 quarter, LVMH sales came to 4.69 billion francs. Profit figures were not reported.

In addition to Vuitton and Kenzo, LVMH owns the Givenchy and Christian Lacroix fashion and fragrance businesses, Parfums Christian Dior, Hine and Hennessy cognac and one quarter of the French champagne market, including Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, Dom Perignon and Moet et Chandon. Last week LVMH acquired majority control of the fragrance firm Guerlain.

Breaking down the quarterly sales results into LVMH's main segments, the company reported that luggage and leather goods jumped 38 percent to $290 million (1.6 billion francs), against 1.19 billion francs a year ago.

Sales of Taig -- Louis Vuitton's first line specifically for men, which it launched last year -- accounted for 3 percent of Vuitton's turnover. LVMH does not release sales by each brand, but it noted a 20 percent increase in sales of Loewe, the Spanish leather goods resource it controls outside of Spain.

Perfume and beauty sales advanced 24 percent to $264.1 million (1.5 billion francs), against 1.15 billion francs. Part of the increase came from Parfums Christian Dior's first-quarter launch of Tendre Poison perfume and Hydra Star skin care products.

Cognac and spirits sales grew 32 percent, to $261.6 million (1.48 billion francs), buoyed by increased shipments of better vintage products and strong sales in Japan and China. Champagne sales grew 9 percent, to $151.8 million (860 million francs).

Sales in other activities, which include the fashion businesses of Givenchy, Kenzo and Christian Lacroix, recent acquisitions and horticultural interests, grew almost 2 1/2 times to $94.8 million (537 million francs), against 218 million francs a year earlier.

LVMH also said that its board will propose a bonus share distribution of one share for every 10 shares currently held. That is subject to approval at the company's annual shareholders meeting, June 17.

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