LUGGAGE, PERFUME BUSINESSES PUSH LVMH SALES UP 16.5%

PARIS — Consolidated group sales at LVMH Moæt Hennessy Louis Vuitton in the first nine months rose 16.5 percent to $3.56 billion (18.79 billion francs) at current exchange rates, as strong growth in the firm’s luggage and leather goods and perfume businesses led the advance.
A year earlier, LVMH posted sales of 16.1 billion francs.
LVMH predicted that net profit for all of 1994 will rise 20 percent, given current sales growth. In 1993, the luxury goods conglomerate posted net profit of $564.5 million (2.97 billion francs), before a nonrecurring gain of $114.4 million (602 million francs) from the sale of the Roc cosmetics business.
Breaking down the group into its five main sectors, the nine-month sales report showed that luggage and leather goods jumped 21 percent to $908.8 million (4.78 billion francs) in the period ended Sept. 30, although LVMH emphasized that sales were held back by “current undercapacity.” However, “an increase in Louis Vuitton’s production capacity should enable the company to fully meet the growth in demand” in 1995, LVMH said.
In the beauty sector, sales grew 16 percent to $966.4 million (5.09 billion francs), as Parfums Christian Dior, Givenchy and Kenzo scored a total sales increase of 15 percent in the opening three quarters.
Turnover was boosted by the launch of Givenchy’s new men’s scent, Insensé, and Kenzo’s new perfume Kashaya, and the introduction of Kenzo fragrances into the U.S. market.
In cognac, LVMH said growth was dampened by the lower exchange rates of the yen and dollar. Cognac and spirit sales edged up 2 percent to $832 million (4.2 billion francs) in the first nine months. However, underlining this sector’s difficulties, cognac and spirits sales actually fell 13 percent in the third quarter to $265.1 million (1.4 billion francs).
Champagne and wine sales grew 4.5 percent to $609.1 million (3.2 billion francs). LVMH’s global brands in this sector include Moæt Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon.
LVMH’s remaining businesses totaled $288 million (1.47 billion francs) in sales, roughly 2 1/2 times the year-ago figure. These items include the group’s interests in horticulture, as well as LVMH’s fashion holdings, Givenchy, Kenzo and Christian Lacroix. These holdings are being included in this sector’s results for the first time this year.
Separately, Christian Dior SA, the holding company that controls LVMH as well as the fashion house Christian Dior Couture SA, also announced a 16.5 percent increase in group sales for the nine months to $3.69 billion (19.4 billion francs). The difference in revenue between Christian Dior and LVMH of $124.3 million (654 million francs) is composed of the sales of the Dior fashion house.

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