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LVMH’s Growth Slows Down as Post-Lockdown Comparisons Get Tougher

Sales in the Louis Vuitton and Dior owner’s key fashion division rose 24 percent year-on-year. The French group said it was “confident” the current momentum would continue even if the recovery from coronavirus lockdowns is becoming less dramatic.
Louis Vuitton launches a pop-up store at the Luxury Brand Roadshow at the Shanghai Global Port in Shanghai, China. Getty Images.
Louis Vuitton's pop-up store at the Shanghai Global Port in Shanghai, China. Getty Images.

LVMH’s sales growth eased from the previous quarter, when purchases of Louis Vuitton bags and other luxury items surged after stores reopened from lockdowns.

Organic revenue at the fashion and leather goods unit rose 24% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Analysts had expected a gain of 21%. In the second quarter, sales in that key division had more than doubled from a year earlier, when stores were mostly shut during the first wave of Covid.

LVHM said it is confident that the current growth will continue. The company’s American depositary receipts rose about 2%.

LVMH is the first among luxury groups to report quarterly sales, and the results suggest the industry’s growth is on track, even if the pace slows. Before the latest figures, analysts had also cited concern about potential demand disruption in China amid a virus resurgence and government plans to reach “common prosperity” through income regulation and redistribution.

At the end of September, Asia excluding Japan was LVMH’s biggest region, accounting for 36% of sales. The U.S. ranked second, contributing a quarter of revenue.

Third-quarter organic revenue growth came in at 18% at the watches and jewelry unit. Analysts expected 23%. Overall, LVMH’s 9-month sales of 44.2 billion euros ($51 billion) have surpassed 2019 levels. Tiffany & Co. became part of LVMH in January.

LVMH has a track record of beating quarterly estimates by a wide margin. The company’s Paris-traded shares have lost 11% since reaching a record high on Aug. 12.

By Angelina Rascouet


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