© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Louis Vuitton logo outside a Paris store
By Silvia Aloisi and Sarah White
PARIS (Reuters) – Sales at French luxury group LVMH rebounded much faster than expected in early 2021, due to demand for Louis Vuitton handbags and Dior products. when Chinese and US shoppers take full advantage of the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.
The freeze in international tourism caused by the pandemic added to the pain of store closings against the luxury industry last year and the crisis has raised concerns that consumers have. You can lose your appetite and spend on luxury goods.
LVMH, the industry’s largest company and owner of more than 70 brands from Moet & Chandon champagne to Guerlain cosmetics, on Tuesday announced its first quarter sales even exceeded 2019 levels, before the pandemic.
Its similar sales, eliminating the effects of currency changes and the acquisition of American jeweler Tiffany, were up 30% year-on-year in the three months through March to € 14 billion. 16.70 billion dollars).
This is almost double the consensus forecast of analysts of a 17% growth cited by UBS. Compared to pre-pandemic levels and the first quarter of 2019, similar sales were up 8%.
Sales in Asia, excluding Japan, were up 86% from the previous year, and in the United States, which is running a major stimulus program, sales were up 23%.
That contrasts with a 9% decline in Europe during this period, where the economies are also expected to recover this year, but several countries, including France and Italy, have launched New lockout measures to control increased infection rates.
Across Asia, stores opened last spring. Luxury shoppers have also started buying more expensive goods online, which has helped Vuitton, although LVMH says this is still a secondary factor overall.
Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Guiony said during a meeting with analysts: “There is no substitute for a visit to a store, you can only improve it with a visit before going online.
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LVMH’s sales fell 16% last year and the airport’s duty-free business is still struggling.
However, its fashion and leather division, which includes designer brands such as Vuitton, Dior and brands like Fendi, which accounts for nearly half of LVMH’s sales, recorded a 52 percent increase in sales. similar sales, again higher than the 27% forecast by analysts. increase.
Watches and jewelry sales jumped 138% when both acquisitions and exchange rate effects were included, benefiting from the acquisition of Tiffany.
LVMH completed a $ 15.8 billion acquisition in early January following a legal battle.
When asked about the possibility of buying more in the luxury goods sector, including brands like Armani, Guiony declined an offer that LVMH was ready to buy again and said the group was focusing on integrating Tiffany.
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