Luxury items sell like hot cakes, LVMH reports | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 18.04.2012
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Luxury items sell like hot cakes, LVMH reports

The world's biggest luxury goods group, LVMH of France, has experienced a sharp increase in sales in the first quarter. Strong demand particularly in Asia helped the company to healthy revenues.

LVMH, a French maker of luxury items, reported on Wednesday a staggering 25 percent rise in sales for the first quarter of 2012. The conglomerate of Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy said revenues amounted to 6.58 million euros ($8.64 million).

"The group continued its excellent momentum at the start of the year with particularly fast growth in Asia and the United States and good progress in Europe despite the contrasting environment," the firm said in a statement.

The company behind Dom Perignon champagne and Donna Karan fashion announced that sales of luxury leather items, which included the famed Louis Vuitton brand, were 17 percent higher at 2.37 billion euros.

Wine and spirits were also in high demand, with sales gaining 22 percent and totaling 926 million euros. Perfume and cosmetics sales, including the group's Guerlain brand, were up 12 percent.

Glitzy stuff at a premium

While all of LVMH's business divisions grew in the fist quarter, watches and jewelry stood out with a 141-percent increase in sales year-on-year, following the acquisition of the Italian group Bulgari last year.

The world's biggest maker of luxury items remained cautious about future growth. "In an economic environment which remains uncertain in Europe, we will maintain a strict control over costs and will target investments on the quality and innovation of our products and their distribution," the company said.

Bloomberg news agency had reported that LVMH was considering securing a share in the Douglas retail chain. But there's not been any confirmation of such plans by either side.

hg/mll (AP, Reuters, AFP)