LVMH, Bvlgari Post Lower Watch Sales

Two international luxury goods groups—the Bvlgari Group and LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton)—posted lower watch sales for 2001, despite Group gains.

Bvlgari’s net revenues rose 13% in 2001 to $661.6 million, said its preliminary financial report. Sales grew in all regions except the Americas (-17%). Most categories had strong sales gains: accessories (+47%), perfumes (+37%), and jewelry (+26%). Watches, however, dipped 6% for the year and 27% in the fourth quarter.

LVMH says its 2001 sales grew 5%, for a record $10.8 billion. Its watches and jewelry group, however, fell 12% for the year and 20% in the fourth quarter. The division posted annual sales of $476.8 million, $132.7 million of which came in the quarter ending Dec. 31. That was “principally due to the strategic decision to terminate production and sales on behalf of third-party brands outside the Group,” says LVMH.

Sales of its own (excluding third-party) brands reached $457.2 million, and “made progress in all regions compared to 2000 except the United States.”