LVMH gives a boost to luxury goods sector

LVMH, the owner of luxury retailer Louis Vuitton and champagne house Moët & Chandon, yesterday said like- for-like sales in the fourth quarter of the year grew one per cent after achieving record sales in December.

The Paris-based group said profit from recurring operations fell to €3.35bn (£2.9bn), down eight per cent from €3.63bn in 2008, though the figure was better than average analyst forecasts of around €3.24bn.

LVMH proposed raising its dividend for the year by three per cent to €1.65 a share.

The news comes after several luxury products retailers, including fashion house Burberry, watchmaker Swatch and Richemont, the owner of Cartier, earlier this month published forecast-beating sales for 2009 and gave relatively upbeat trading updates for the current year.

LVMH’s results prompted a flurry of analyst upgrades for other luxury goods firms such as Hermes, which reports today, and Gucci, which reports its revenue figures on 18 February.