DIOR’S COUTURE DIVISION GAINS $8.2 MILLION FOR ’99

PARIS — Christian Dior Couture rebounded from a weak 1998 performance to post operating profits of $8.2 million last year, according to a statement released by the company.
The firm, comprising Dior fashion and accessories, had an operating loss of $1 million in 1998. All dollar figures are translated at current exchange.
Dior Couture sales rose 10 percent last year to $211 million, the company said. A hefty portion of the increases came in the fourth quarter, when volume was ahead more than 30 percent compared with the 1998 period.
Dior’s sales have remained strong, according to the company, rising more than 50 percent during the first two months of 2000.
Dior Couture is a division of Christian Dior Groupe, the parent through which Bernard Arnault holds LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and its figures consolidate and to a high degree mirror those of LVMH. Company officials weren’t available to elaborate on figures Monday.
Net profits at Dior Groupe jumped more than fivefold to $253 million last year from $45 million in 1998. Net income from current group operations was $283 million, up 61 percent from the prior year. Dior Groupe sales were up 23 percent to $8.4 billion.
In its statement, the group attributed the results to strength throughout the luxury group’s divisions and to cost-cutting measures initiated in 1998.
Dior Groupe projected an increase in operating profits of 20 percent during the current year.

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