WWD.com/business-news/financial/lvmh-stresses-china-growth-1857414/

PARIS — A day after its stock dropped by more than 11 percent, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Wednesday issued a statement saying its business in China remained strong.

This story first appeared in the November 13, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


LVMH’s stock dropped sharply Tuesday following comments by LVMH China manager Andrew Wu that it would be “naïve” to believe the luxury goods group in China is sheltered from the global economic turmoil. LVMH stock was up more than 3 percent in midmorning trading in Paris on Wednesday after the company “clarified” that its business was showing “very dynamic growth” in China.

“For example, Louis Vuitton, the group’s leading brand, has seen organic growth in recent months and weeks in China of over 30 percent,” LVMH said. “At this time, nothing indicates that this trend, owing to the exceptional attractiveness of Louis Vuitton’s products and local demand, will change in the coming months.”

LVMH was trading around 45 euros, or $56, a share at midday on the Paris Bourse. Shares closed at 43.74 euros, or $55.55 at current exchange, down 0.02 euros or 0.1 percent. Shares were trading over 85 euros, or $106, in January.

In the first half, Asia represented 20 percent of total group sales. Early last month, the company in releasing third-quarter sales said emerging markets had shown no signs of slowing after some decline in Asian markets due to the Summer Olympics. LVMH finance director Jean-Jacques Guiony said Russia was “still doing extremely well — there were no worrying signals in the quarter.” He said China and the Middle East also remained robust.