By Lenore Fedow
lenore.fedow@nationaljeweler.com
A Bulgari Lucea watch paired with a tubogas bracelet. The brand was a top-performer for LVMH in the fourth. (Image credit: Bulgari Lucea tubogas / © Bulgari)
Paris—LVMH ended its fiscal year on a high note, reporting double-digit revenue growth despite a rough second half in the Hong Kong market.

Full-year revenue clocked in at €53.67 billion ($59.15 billion), a 10 percent organic increase compared with 2018.

Fourth-quarter revenue totaled €15.27 billion ($16.84 billion), an 8 percent organic increase compared with the previous fourth quarter.

The luxury titan reported “good growth” in Asia, Europe and the United States, but noted it faced a “difficult environment” in Hong Kong.

Fourth-quarter revenue in LMVH’s watches and jewelry segment totaled €1.14 billion ($1.26 billion), a 1 percent organic increase year-over-year.

Full-year revenue in the segment climbed 3 percent to €4.41 billion ($4.86 billion).

LVMH called its acquisition of Tiffany & Co. “a strategic highlight of the year.”

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Bulgari reported “strong growth” as it continues to increase its market share.

The brand introduced new pieces for its high jewelry segment as well as for the Serpenti, B.Zero 1 and Diva’s Dream collections.

Bulgari’s Fiorever line, a floral-inspired collection launched in 2018, was a significant contributor to the growth in the watches and jewelry segment, LVMH said.

In addition, the Serpenti Seduttori watch, a standout in the category, was “exceptionally well-received.”

Chaumet’s iconic collections were growth drivers. The brand is nearing the reopening of its renovated store on Paris’ famed Place Vendôme.

TAG Heuer has undergone a renovation of its own, continuing to reposition its distribution network.

The brand is working to “ensure an increasingly selective presence and enhanced commercial impact,” said LVMH in its annual report.

Hublot saw “strong growth,” with the Classic Fusion, Big Bang and Spirit of Big Bang lines performing well. The brand also noted the exposure it gained via the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France over the summer.

Zenith introduced the new Inventor model into its Defy line.

LVMH held its first watch exhibition at the Bulgari Hotel in Dubai, which it deemed a “great success.”

Outside of watches and jewelry, LVMH reported growth across all divisions, which include fashion and leather goods; wines and spirits; perfume and cosmetics; and selective retailing.

The fashion and leather goods division saw the strongest growth, with revenue up 17 percent organically to €22.24 billion ($24.51 billion). The company noted the “remarkable” performances of Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

Looking ahead, LVMH said it is “cautiously confident” in spite of “an uncertain geopolitical context.”

CEO Bernard Arnault addressed the potential impact of the coronavirus on China, a key market across all sectors, in an interview with reporters following the results.

“The first reaction is: ‘Don’t panic, let’s calmly analyze the situation’,” he said, as per a Reuters report.

Arnault said he was told by Chinese authorities that the peak of the virus is expected to pass within weeks and settle down by the end of March.

“If it dies out in two months or two months and a half, it’s not terrible. If it takes two years, that’s a different story,” he said.

Unrest in Hong Kong forced fourth-quarter revenue in the region down nearly 40 percent, Arnault also noted.

LVMH’s retail network includes 4,915 stores as of Dec. 30.


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