LVMH first-quarter sales rise helped by the weak euro
World’s largest luxury group LVMH reported sales rose 16% to €8.3 billion ($8.8 billion) from €7.2 billion in last year’s first quarter. Sales growth in the first quarter increased 3% from a year earlier after a 5% rise in the final quarter of 2014, affected by weakness in the company’s wines and spirits division and slowing sales at the company’s fashion and leather-goods unit.
In the first quarter, sales at the group’s fashion and leather-goods business,which makes up over a third of the company’s revenue,increased by 13% to €3 billion, though a large part of the gain was owed to the weak euro. Excluding currency effects, acquisitions and asset sales, revenue in the division rose 1% in the quarter.
LVMH said underlying growth was affected by a tough comparison with sales from the same period last year, notably in Japan where consumers splurged at the beginning of 2014 in advance of a tax increase.
The company’s wines and spirits division continued to lag, with organic sales sliding 1% from a year earlier to €992 million. Selective retailing, which includes LVMH’s duty-free store chain DFS and cosmetics retailer Sephora,reported sales up 5% on an organic basis to €2.6 billion, though the company said DFS faced a “complex situation in Asia.”