LVMH’s Q1 Watch, Jewelry Sales Pass Billion-Euro Mark

FinancialsApr 12, 2019

LVMH’s Q1 Watch, Jewelry Sales Pass Billion-Euro Mark

Bulgari was a top performer in both watches and jewelry.

The Octo Finissimo watch, introduced at Baselworld in 2016, was among the top sellers for Bulgari in Q1, LVMH said.

Paris—LVMH had a strong start to its fiscal year, with watch and jewelry sales climbing past the billion-euro mark in its first quarter.

Quarterly sales of LVMH-owned watch and jewelry brands totaled €1.05 billion ($1.19 billion) compared with €959 million ($1.08 billion) a year ago, a 9 percent increase.

Organic (like-for-like) revenue growth was 4 percent, with jewelry leading the charge. Bulgari’s iconic Serpenti, Divas’ Dream and Lvcea lines as well as its Fiorever collection had an especially strong first quarter.

During its earnings call Wednesday announcing first quarter results, LVMH executives also addressed the recently concluded Baselworld show, including answering the question: Will LVMH return to the watch and jewelry trade show in 2020?

“We once again had a successful participation in Baselworld this year in which we introduced a number of newer launches,” said Chris Hollis, director of financial communications.

The most well-received new timepieces exhibited at the watch and jewelry trade show included Hublot’s Classic Fusion Ferrari GT and Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic.

During the question-and-answer segment of the call, Bernstein analyst Luca Solca asked what the company’s plans are for Baselworld going forward since a number of major players, including Swatch Group, have dropped out.

“As far as Baselworld is concerned, I have to announce, I mean, we are one of the biggest players in this universe. You have seen the action taken by the others not only this year but over the last few years, which is obviously a reason for us to think about it, but we have not taken any decision and have nothing to announce,” Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Guiony said.

Headquartered in Paris, LVMH Moёt Hennessy Louis Vuitton is to luxury products what Procter & Gamble is to consumer staples with its household name brands spanning jewelry, watches, wines and spirits, leather goods, perfumes, and cosmetics.

Total quarterly revenue when including all the luxury conglomerate’s divisions rose 11 percent to €12.54 billion ($14.16 billion) compared with €10.85 billion ($12.25 billion) a year ago.

While other retailers are facing a slowdown in sales in China, LVMH saw sales in Asia climb 17 percent organically, accounting for 35 percent of its total revenue, more than any other region.

Sales in the United States rose 8 percent while sales in Europe were up 7 percent.

Revenue from LVMH’s fashion and leather goods segment totaled €5.11 billion ($5.77 billion), a 15 percent increase in organic revenue compared with

€4.27 billion ($4.82 billion) a year ago.

Its iconic Louis Vuitton brand continued to be a best-seller, so much so that the company said it has opened a new leather workshop in France to meet demand and limit stock shortages.

The perfumes and cosmetics segment saw organic revenue growth of 9 percent to €1.68 billion ($1.9 billion) compared with €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) a year ago.

LVMH’s wine and spirits segment reported organic revenue growth of 9 percent to €1.35 billion ($1.52 billion) compared with €1.19 billion ($1.34 billion) a year ago.

Hennessy cognac volumes increased double digits, seeing strong growth in the U.S. and Chinese markets.

The selective retailing segment, which includes Sephora and duty-free stores, saw organic revenue growth of 8 percent to €3.51 billion ($3.96 billion) compared with €3.1 billion ($3.5 billion) a year ago.

LVMH’s retail network spans 70 brands and 4,950 stores worldwide, as per its annual report.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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