PARIS — Faster growth in Europe and the United States offset a slowdown in Asia as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported a 5.7 percent gain in third-quarter sales to 7.39 billion euros, or $9.8 billion.
In organic terms, the increase stood at 4 percent, a slight improvement over the 3 percent gain registered in the second quarter and in line with the luxury sector’s more muted growth prospects.
The French luxury group gave no specific guidance other than to focus on innovation and targeted geographic expansion given “an uncertain economic and financial environment.”
In the first nine months of the year, revenues gained 3.8 percent to 21.4 billion euros, or $29.01 billion. Calculations are based on 2013 revenues restated to reflect new IFRS reporting rules on consolidation, including the integration of Loro Piana, acquired late in 2013.
Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the periods in question.
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In organic terms, nine-month sales improved 3 percent in fashion and leather goods; 5 percent in watches and jewelry; 8 percent in selective retailing; and 8 percent in watches and jewelry.
The company trumpeted accelerated growth in the jewelry segment, driven by Bulgari, while watches “continued to be impacted by the cautious purchasing behavior of multi-brand retailers in an uncertain economic environment.”
The wines and spirits division registered a 3 percent drop, which LVMH blamed on a destocking of cognac in China, where an anti-corruption campaign has dented sales of liquors and watches primarily.
LVMH is to host a conference call Wednesday to discuss the results.
In a research note published Oct. 3, Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet noted that LVMH is rebalancing its focus from profitability to return on invested capital as a way to face macro economic uncertainties and lower growth prospects in China.