By Michelle Graff
Paris--Sales in the United States were strong in the first quarter for LVMH, with the luxury goods conglomerate’s company-owned watch and jewelry boutiques performing particularly well.

In its first quarter earnings reported released Wednesday, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton stated that watch and jewelry sales increased from $841.0 million to $842.3 million year-over-year during the period. That is flat at actual exchange rates but a 5 percent increase at constant exchange rates and with comparable structure.

The Paris-based company’s watch and jewelry group includes Bulgari, Chaumet, Fred, TAG Heuer, Hublot, Zenith, Dior Watches and De Beers Diamond Jewellers Ltd., the chain of De Beers-branded retail stores it operates in a joint venture with diamond miner and marketer De Beers.

It said Wednesday that the new watches TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith introduced at Baselworld “received a warm welcome from distributors.”

The company also noted that 2014 marks the 130th anniversary of Bulgari, which it celebrated with the renovation of the brand’s flagship boutique in Rome’s Via dei Condotti and with the introduction of new collections. LVMH acquired the iconic Italian jewelry house in 2011.

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Overall, LVMH reported a 6 percent increase in revenue at constant exchange rates (4 percent at actual exchange rates) with sales climbing from $9.57 billion to $9.99 billion. 

Selective retailing, the segment of the business that includes Sephora cosmetics stores, posted the strongest quarterly growth with sales climbing 10 percent year-over-year. The company’s fashion and leather goods segment was next with 9 percent organic revenue growth followed by perfumes and cosmetics and watches and jewelry, both up 5 percent. Sales of wines and spirits dropped 3 percent year-over-year.

The company said it saw continued growth in both the U.S. and Asia during the quarter. 

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