Louis Vuitton led the LVMH pack with sales of $3.2 billion in 2001. Christian Dior Couture was one of the vast luxury firm's fashion stars. Stores saw a 55 percent rise in sales for the first quarter of this year.
A slowdown in sales and an increase in costs dragged down Richemont's 2001 profits by two-thirds last year. Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels, the jewels in Richemont's crown registered a drop in sales.
With weak consumer spending in the U.S. and Europe and flagging tourism, Gucci's net income dropped 42 percent in the first quarter of this year. Sales at the Gucci core brand were disappointing, but Yves Saint Laurent showed some momentum.
Despite economic difficulties in the Far East, Chanel has been seeing double-digit growth in its accessories business. An accessories-only store opened Wednesday on Madison Avenue and 64th Street. Ready-to-wear is healthy, but not as strong.
Prada's Jil Sander and Helmut Lang divisions were hurt by the global luxury slowdown. At Prada's upcoming IPO road show in July, ceo Patrizio Bertelli will no doubt highlight the Prada and Miu Miu brands, which contribute almost 80 percent of the firm's volume.
Stung by a sales decrease in Japan, which accounts for 28 percent of is volume, Tiffany's net earnings fell 8.9 percent last year. It hopes to rebound by doubling its U.S. store fleet, which accounts for 49 percent of sales.
Giorgio Armani SpA
Annual Revenue, 2001: $1.22 billion Annual Revenue, 2000: $988 million
Growth In 2001: 23%
Giorgio Armani personally turned down an offer of $2 billion for his company and he frowns upon the idea of an IPO. He continues to expand his empire with such acquisitions as Simint ( jeans and apparel) and Miss Deanna (knitwear).
While many companies reported a decline in net income last year, Hermes' leapt 15.3 percent. Hermes is putting its money where its profits are and increasing production capacity for its ever-popular leather goods and silk scarves.
Max Mara Fashion Group SRL
Annual Revenue, 2001: $1.05 billion Annual Revenue, 2000: $945 million
Growth In 2001: 11%
Max Mara's SportMax division has taken off. The trend-driven collection is gaining double-digit increases. Eyewear, which launched earlier this year, is being rolled out to Max Mara units and sunglasses will bow in the fall at company-owned stores and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Annual Revenue, 2001(Year ended October): $808 million Annual Revenue, 2000: $774 million
Growth In 2001: 4.5%
A favorite of the red carpet crowd, Escada trades in the entrance-making gowns that Hollywood sirens loves. Regular consumers were a bit more skeptical. Sales of the Escada core collection fell 4.5 percent in the first half of 2002.
Bulgari SpAAnnual Revenue, 2001: $732 million Annual Revenue, 2000: $646 million
Growth In 2001: 13.3%
Bulgari's jewelry sales expanded 19 percent during the second half of 2001. The launch of the Lucea line last fall contributed to the division's 17 percent growth in the first half of this year.
The Ermenegildo Zegna Group
Annual Revenue, 2001: $655 million Annual Revenue, 2000: $604 million
Growth In 2001: 8.3%
Net profits fell 15 percent last year at Zegna partly due to decreased sales in the U.S., which accounts for one-third of volume. The firm also owns luxury brand Agnona and fabric producer Master Loom, and just formed a joint venture with Salvatore Ferragamo.
Annual Revenue, 2001: $621 million Annual Revenue, 2000: $594 million
Growth In 2001: 4.5%
Ferragamo is returning to its classical roots after dabbling with artsy runway fare. The company projects double-digit growth for the second half of this year and is expanding its Fifth Avenue flagship to about 30,000 square feet.
Annual Revenue, 2001: $503 million Annual Revenue, 2000: $413 million
Growth In 2001: 21.6%
IT Holding, parent of Romeo Gigli, Malo, Ittiere and Gentry Portofino, acquired Gianfranco Ferre SpA in April and signed new licensing agreements with Versace Jeans and Versus. Sales in the clothing division grew 16 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Annual Revenue, 2001: $450 million Annual Revenue, 2000: $450 million
Growth In 2001: 0%
Despite the challenging economy and a dip in tourism, Rolex managed to avert a decline last year. The Geneva-based company, which was founded 1919, has been using athletes to promote the brand although Andre Agassi sued it for using his image without consent.
Sources: Company reports and estimates by WWD or Dana L. Telsey and James Hurley, luxury goods analysts, Bear Stearns & Co. Inc.
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