LVMH, Bulgari Watch Sales Rose In Late 2002

Watches and jewelry sold by two of the world’s leading luxury goods retailers posted mixed results for 2002, with a stronger 2003 predicted based on fourth-quarter results.

LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate, in 2002 posted sales of 12.7 billion euros ($13.6 billion), a 4% increase, says the company. Of that, watches and jewelry posted a 1% overall gain to 552 million euros ($593.8 million). For the fourth quarter alone, LVMH’s watches and jewelry showed a 6% increase in sales to 168 million euros ($180.7 million). Montres Christian Dior recorded especially strong sales, thanks to its new Riva Sparkling watches, while TAG Heuer enjoyed progress in all its key markets. Investments in brand communications, says LVMH, were increased across the board.

Bulgari, the Italian luxury watch and jewelry maker, saw its 2002 watch sales (which account for more than a third of its business) decline 1% to 292.9 million euros, or $315.2 million. The fourth quarter, however, saw watch sales increase 28% to 98.5 million euros ($106 million), indicating “a strong recovery throughout the year [and] basically reaching the exceptional sales volumes of 2000,” a record year, said the company. For the year as a whole, Bulgari registered total sales in all divisions of 773.3 million euros ($832.2 million), an increase of 0.9%. For the fourth quarter, the Italian group achieved a turnover of 254.7 million euros ($274.1 million), a gain of 12.8%.