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Monday, April 18, 2011

LVMH Q1 Watch and Jewelry Sales Up 28%

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported that sales for its Watches & Jewelry business rose 28 percent to 261 million euros ($371.2 million) for the first quarter of 2011 supported by the “excellent performance” of its own boutiques and its multi-brand retail stores as well as its recent watch introductions.

The company’s watch-making brands revealed their innovations at Baselworld, the world’s largest watch and jewelry trade fair. TAG Heuer strengthened its iconic Carrera collection of chronographs. Zenith, which performed well for the quarter, continued the renovation of its manufacturing facility in Le Locle, Switzerland. Hublot benefited from the strong momentum of its Big Bang and King Power lines and the opening of its own boutiques, most notably Place Vendôme. Chaumet's new Bee My Love collection “was very well received.” And De Beers made “significant progress” in Asia and the United States.

The company said its acquisition of the Italian luxury jewelry house Bulgari was a key highlight of the quarter.

Jewelry and watches weren’t the only quality performers for the period. Overall, the world's leading luxury goods group reported that first quarter 2011 sales increased 17 percent to 5.24 billion euros ($7.38 billion). All of its business divisions recorded strong growth for the period. The United States, Europe and Asia all recorded positive sales increases.

The Paris-based company said that following the earthquake in Japan, an important market, local teams worked hard to bring a gradual return to normal business.

The Wines & Spirits business group posted a 20 percent increase in sales to 762 million euros ($1.08 billion) boosted by strong demand in the U.S. and Asia.

The Fashion & Leather Goods business, home to the company's most prestigious brand, Louis Vuitton, reported a 17 percent sales increase to 20.3 billion euros ($28.85 billion).

Perfumes & Cosmetics sales increased 9 percent to 803 million euros ($1.14 billion) led by traditional and new products from Christian Dior and Guerlain.

The Selective Retailing business segment sales grew 20 percent for the quarter to 1.4 billion euros ($2.02 billion) due to a rise of tourism in Asia. Sephora chain of cosmetic stores continued to do well across regions, increasing its market share.

LVMH said it will continue to focus its efforts on developing its brands and maintaining control over costs. It said it will rely on “the diversification of its businesses and the good geographical balance of its revenues to increase.”

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