By Lenore Fedow
The Octo Finissimo watch was among the top sellers for Bulgari in 2018, LVMH said. Pictured here is the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, which was introduced at Baselworld in 2016.
Paris—LVMH, a titan in the world of luxury goods, reported strong full-year results with watch and jewelry sales climbing by a double-digit percentage.

Sales of LVMH-owned watch and jewelry brands totaled €4.12 billion ($4.73 billion) in 2018 compared with €3.80 billion ($4.36 billion) in 2017.

Organic (like-for-like) revenue growth was 12 percent.

Bulgari had a show-stopper of a year with relative newcomers like the Octo Finissimo watch and Fiorever jewelry collection performing especially well.

Among LVMH’s watch brands, TAG Heuer’s smartwatches took off while Hublot saw strong growth and increased visibility as the official timekeeper for the FIFA World Cup, which took place in summer 2018.

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 fourth-quarter revenue for the company reached €13.70 billion ($15.70 billion) compared with €12.54 billion ($14.40 billion) a year ago, continuing the upward trend of the previous quarters.

Full-year revenue clocked in at €46.80 billion ($53.70 billion), a 10 percent year-over-year increase compared with €42.60 billion ($48.91 billion) in 2017. Operating income rose by 21 percent, passing the €10 billion mark ($11.48 billion).

LVMH averted the “China slowdown,” with sales in Asia growing 15 percent organically. U.S. sales, meanwhile, increased by 8 percent while sales in Europe were up 7 percent.

“The desirability of our brands, the creativity and quality of our products, the unique experience offered to our customers, and the talent and the commitment of our teams are the group’s strengths and have once again made the difference,” CEO Bernard Arnault said.

Revenue from LVMH’s fashion and leather goods segment totaled €18.45 billion ($21.18 billion), a 15 percent increase in organic revenue compared with €15.47 billion ($17.76 billion) a year ago, buoyed by Louis Vuitton’s iconic leather goods as well as its shoe lines.

The perfumes and cosmetics segment reported organic revenue growth of 14 percent to €6.09 billion ($6.99 billion) compared with €5.56 billion ($6.38 billion) a year ago.

LVMH’s wine and spirits segment reported organic revenue growth of 5 percent to €5.14 billion ($5.90 billion) compared with €5.08 billion ($5.83 billion) a year ago, benefiting from strong momentum in China as well as growth in the U.S. and Europe.

The selective retailing segment saw organic revenue growth of 6 percent to €13.64 billion ($15.66 billion) compared with €13.31 billion ($15.28 billion) a year ago.

Sephora saw another year of growth as online sales increased, especially in North America and Asia. About 100 new Sephora stores opened around the world, including one in Shanghai and the first Sephora-branded stores in Russia.

DFS, LVMH’s chain of duty-free luxury stores, returned to profitability after closing its Hong Kong airport concessions at the end of 2017. New locations have opened in Cambodia and Italy.

LVMH’s retail network spans 70 brands and 4,950 stores worldwide.

The company said while the retail environment remains uncertain, it is “cautiously confident” for the year ahead.

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