LVMH Up, Watches and Jewelry Down

LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), one of the world’s leading luxury product groups, said in July that it expects to post a 12% gain in consolidated sales for the first half of 2001, for a total of 5.6 billion euros (almost US$4.8 billion). Nearly all of LVMH’s divisions showed sizeable gains, except for the watches and jewelry division and the wines and spirits division.

Sales in watches and jewelry dropped 3%, from $229 million in the first half of 2000 to $223 million this year. Nevertheless, LVMH 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 U.S. 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.