LVMH Watches, Jewelry Sales Up 7%

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury products group, said Tuesday that revenues increased 5 percent to approximately $12.15 billion in the first half of 2008. With comparable structure and exchange rates, sales increased 12 percent, the Paris-based conglomerate said.

The company said it received “excellent” results in Asia, the United States, and Europe for the first half of 2008.

Profit from recurring operations increased by 7 percent to approximately $2.4 million for the first half of 2008. At constant exchange rates, profit from recurring operations increased by 19 percent. Group share of net profit increased by 7 percent for the period.

“The first half results once again demonstrate the exceptional appeal of our brands as well as the effectiveness of our strategy, particularly remarkable given the adverse currency and economic environment seen during this period,” said Bernard Arnault, LVMH chairman and chief executive officer.

The “Watches & Jewelry” group grew by 7 percent to about $650 million, the company said. At constant exchange rates, growth was 15 percent. Profit from recurring operations rose by 30 percent.

“TAG Heuer confirmed its momentum with the success of its Grand Carrera line,” the company said. “Zenith saw sustained growth in its high-end classic watch collections. Christian Dior watches strengthened its synergies with fashion and jewelry. Chaumet grew thanks to the launches of Class One ‘Croisiere’ and the new creations in its Attrape-Moi collection.”

In addition, the company said De Beers continued its sustained growth with the expansion of its store network.

The first half also was notable for the acquisition of the Hublot brand, which the company says complements LVMH’s watchmaking portfolio.

In its outlook, LVMH said that even in an uncertain economic and monetary environment, it will continue to grow thanks to both the numerous product launches planned before the end of the year and to its geographic expansion. These factors allow the group to confirm its objective of a tangible increase in its 2008 results.

“LVMH thus proves its exceptional capacity to grow thanks to the strength of its brands, the responsiveness of its organization, and the talent of its teams,” Arnault said. “Reassured by the strong momentum in the first half of the year, the group approaches the second half with confidence. It will rely upon the creativity and quality of its products as well as the efficiency of its teams to pursue further development in its historical markets as well as in high potential emerging markets. All these elements enable us to confirm our objective of a tangible increase in results for 2008.”