LVMH Posts 12% half-year gain; but watches, jewelry drop 3%

LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), the world’s leading luxury product group, said on July 9 that it expects to post a 12% gain in consolidated sales for the first half of 2001 That is 5.6 billion Euros (or almost $4.8 billion). Almost all of LVMH’s divisions showed sizeable gains, except for watches & jewelry, and wines and spirits.

The Watches & Jewelry division sales were down 3% (from $229 million in the first half of 2000 to $223 million this year). Nevertheless, the company report says sales in this group are “stable,” following LVMH’s decision to terminate some manufacturing licenses for non-Group watch companies and despite slower growth in the US economy. Reorganization of this division is “well underway, and advertising campaigns are producing excellent results,” says the LVMH report, especially for Zenith watches (introduced in the U.S. this spring), Chaumet and Benedom. The new “Chris 47” Dior watch is also recording strong scales, according to LVMH.

LVMH’s final first half report will be issued in September.