Recession? What recession? Somebody, somewhere is clearly not suffering from it, judging from the latest results from luxury conglomerate LVMH, which just announced a 22 percent leap in sales in the first three quarters of this year. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton – to give the group its full title – announced Monday, Oct. 15, that total sales had grown to 19.9 billion euros in the nine months ending Sept. 30. Much of the revenue surge was thanks the integration of Bulgari, the Roman jeweler that Paris-based LVMH acquired in March 2011, in a valuation of 3.7 billion euros, or $5.375 billion at the time, meaning roughly three and half times annual sales. However, even leaving aside Bulgari, LVMH’s “organic” sales grew by a sturdy 10 percent in the first nine months, the group said in a release. “The group recorded a 15% rise in revenue for the third quarter,” LVMH noted in the release, adding that, “the US market continued to demonstrate solid momentum.” Sales were up as well in Europe and Asia in third quarter performance, “in spite of a mixed business environment,” while “Louis Vuitton continues to gain market share throughout the world,” LVMH bragged. Breaking down the business by product category, LVMH’s best performing division on an organic basis was selective retailing, which surged 14 percent to 5.452 billion euros, or $7.105 billion. LVMH trumpeted what it called Sephora’s “remarkable performance,” adding that the beauty products specialist was “winning market share across all regions of the world.” Sephora also posted rapid growth in China and Russia, as well as enjoying “considerable success” with its debut store in Brazil. The French prestige product giant added that its duty free arm, DFS, was again expanding its presence outside airports, opening its third Galleria in Hong Kong city center. The group’s largest division, Fashion & Leather Goods, saw revenues advance by 8 percent to 7.179 billion euros, or $9.355 billion. “The Shanghai opening of the first Maison Louis Vuitton in China and the launch of a number of collections in collaboration with the artist Yayoi Kusama marked some of the high points of the quarter. Céline achieved a remarkable performance across all its markets and product ranges. Fendi undertook a targeted expansion of its distribution network,” stressed LVMH in the release. LVMH is the world's leading luxury goods group and includes in its extensive portfolio such brands as Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Ruinart, Château d'Yquem, Hennessy, Vodka Belvedere, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Kenzo, Givenchy, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Berluti, Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy, Parfums Kenzo and Perfumes Loewe. LVMH also controls TAG Heuer, Chaumet, Dior Jewelry, Zenith, Fred and Hublot.
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