LVMH luxuriates in record sales, profit

GMT 22:26 2015 Tuesday ,03 February

Arab Today, arab today LVMH luxuriates in record sales, profit

Bernard Arnault
Paris - AFP

LVMH announced Tuesday record sales and net profit, although other figures released by the leading global luxury company missed expectations.
The maker of Louis Vuitton handbags and Moet & Chandon champagne said sales rose 6 percent last year to a record 30.6 billion euros ($35.1 billion).
Meanwhile net profit at the France-based company came in at a record 5.65 billion euros.
However stripping out the 2.8 billion booked thanks to distribution of shares by Hermes, a rival in which LVMH has built up a stake, the net profit falls under 3 billion euros, far below analysts's expectations and the 3.4 billion euros in net profit the company posted in 2013.
Operating profit at LVMH, which also includes Givenchy and Guerlain in its stable of luxury brands, slid 5 percent to 5.7 billion euros.
Its operating margin dropped by 2 percentage points in 2014 to 19 percent.
While the sales slightly beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet, the operating profit was below forecasts of 5.84 billion euros and a net profit of 3.4 billion euros stripping out the effect of the Hermes operation.
Chief executive Bernard Arnault said "the 2014 results confirm the capacity for LVMH to progress despite economic and currency uncertainty."
Wines and spirits sales dropped by 5 percent, but rose in all other business segments.
With 10 percent growth in sales of fashion and leather goods to 10.8 billion euros, the segment reinforce its top spot in the group.
Net profit from recurring operations fell in all business segments except in fashion and leather goods which managed a 2 percent gain.
The net profit from the wines and spirits segment fell 16 percent to 1.1 billion euros, which LVMH said was primarily due to slowing cognac sales in China.
Luxury companies have been hit hard by a crackdown on corruption in China that has brought an end to expensive gifts like watches and liquor to officials.
Net profit fell by 23 percent in the watches and jewellery segment to 283 million euros. LVMH said multi-brand retailers held back on purchases of watches in the uncertain economic environment.
LVMH watch brands include Bulgari and TAG Heuer.
The selective retailing segment posted the fastest growth at 7 percent thanks to an "exceptional year" for its Sephora chain of perfume shops.
"Despite a climate of economic, currency and geopolitical uncertainties, LVMH is well-equipped to continue its growth momentum across all business groups in 2015," the company said.
The company's management said it would propose to shareholders increasing the dividend payment by 3 percent to 3.20 euros.


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