LVMH beats forecasts as it sees brands rebound

LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury retail group, beat forecasts with a 14 per cent rise in comparable third-quarter sales, driven by the solid recovery of its fashion, wines and champagne businesses.

LVMH, the first major European luxury group to publish third-quarter figures, yesterday confirmed the industry’s stronger-than-expected rebound, powered in part by expansion in China and a weak euro attracting tourist shoppers.

Analysts had forecast like-for-like sales growth of 11 per cent, compared with a three per cent drop in 2009, the worst year for the luxury goods industry in more than two decades.
“LVMH is one of the best ways to play the emerging markets consumer as more than 40 per cent of its sales come from luxury buyers from emerging markets, especially Asia, if you include tourist shopping in cities like Paris, New York and Milan,” said Juan Mendoza who runs a $190m (£119m) Luxury Goods Equity Fund for Clariden Leu, the mature investment fund business of Credit Suisse.

“Sales growth exceeded very high expectations,” he added.

LVMH said growth of business in China in the third quarter was about the same as during the first half, or 26-27 per cent in local currency.