LVMH posts strong sales growth in 2005’s first half

LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), the Parisian luxury products group, reported consolidated sales of $7.4 billion in 2005’s first half, a 10 percent gain. (Without exchange rate fluctuations, acquisitions and other factors, the consolidated organic gain was 12 percent.) The sales growth accelerated in the second quarter of 2005, it said.

LVMH reported good sales growth across all its business groups; market share gains across all brands; strong sales gains in Asia and Europe, and that the United States market “continues to progress well.”

The watches and jewelry business group, specifically, reported a 12 percent sales increase, and “once again showed strong growth in the entire first half” over the previous year, said LVM’s report. The performance of TAG Heuer watches was “particularly strong” in the United States and in Asia. Zenith watches “recorded strong sales growth across all markets, while the momentum of Chaumet continues.”

Fashion and leather goods, its biggest group, had an 8 percent increase to $2.65 billion, driven by the Louis Vuitton brand.

In 2005’s second half, LVMH said, it will focus on developing market share for its leading brands and on a series of new product launches. It expects to meet its goal of “a tangible increase” in operating income for 2005.