LVMH Growth Slows in First Quarter

Louis Vuitton store in Kobe, Japan | Source: Wikicommons

PARIS, France — LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world’s largest luxury-goods company, reported first-quarter sales growth that matched estimates, led by gains in the wines & spirits unit and at DFS duty-free stores.

Revenue climbed 6 percent to 6.95 billion euros ($9.1 billion), Paris-based LVMH said today in an e-mailed statement, meeting the average of 13 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 7 percent excluding currency shifts and acquisitions, compared with 14 percent in the first quarter of last year and 8 percent in the last three months of 2012.

Revenue growth was driven by a 16 percent increase at the selective retailing division that includes DFS and the Sephora cosmetics chain. Wine & spirits sales gained 6 percent. Italian rival Prada SpA this month reported an uneven start to the year, saying unusually cold weather and the economic crisis in Europe and threats of nuclear strikes by North Korea had hurt demand.

“In an economic environment which remains uncertain in Europe, LVMH will continue to focus its efforts on developing its brands, will maintain a strict control over costs and will target its investments on the quality, the excellence and the innovation of its products and their distribution,” the company said in the statement, which was released after markets closed.

LVMH rose 0.3 percent to 131.25 euros in Paris trading today. The shares have dropped 5.4 percent this year, trailing a 1.9 percent gain in the benchmark CAC 40 Index.

By: Andrew Roberts; Editors: Paul Jarvis, John Bowker