Leather lifts Louis Vuitton’s performance

Published:  11 April, 2014

LVMH, the world's biggest luxury group, said its flagship Louis Vuitton brand had an "excellent" start to the year and its fashion and leather division posted a higher than expected rise in like-for-like first-quarter sales.

The group, which also owns fashion brands Dior and Celine, said comparable sales at its fashion and leather division rose 9% in the three months to March 31, beating analysts' expectations of a 5-7% rise.

The division is the biggest and most closely watched as Louis Vuitton accounts for more than half of group operating profits. The unit saw like-for-like sales growth improve in the fourth quarter to 7% from 3% in the preceding three months.

But several analysts had expected momentum to drop somewhat in the early part of the year, partly due to enduring tough trading in China, slower growth in the United States and a drop in spending by Russian tourists.

Overall, LVMH's first-quarter revenues rose 6%, reaching 7.2 billion euros, slightly above expectations of 7.17 billion euros.

"The performance of the fashion and leather is much better than expected but that of the wines and spirits is also worse than expected," said luxury goods analyst at Barclays.

LVMH did not provide any financial forecasts for the current year.

Source: Reuters