PARIS, France — LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury-goods maker, reported first-half profit in line with analyst estimates as earnings grew at their fastest rate since 2011.
Profit from recurring operations rose 23 percent to €3.64 billion ($4.23 billion) in the first half, the owner of Louis Vuitton leather goods and Sephora cosmetics stores said Wednesday. Analysts expected €3.61 billion. Second-quarter sales rose 12 percent on an organic basis, slower than the first quarter’s 13 percent jump but above analyst predictions.
Shares in the maker of luxury goods ranging from Tag Heuer watches to Veuve Clicquot Champagne are up about 20 percent since the start of the year, as investors have welcomed rebounding demand in China as well as a €6.5 billion deal for LMVH to take full control of Christian Dior, whose beauty business the company already owned. In May, LVMH surpassed energy giant Total SA to become France’s most valuable company.
“LVMH has enjoyed an excellent first half, to which all our businesses contributed,” chief executive officer Bernard Arnault said in a statement. “In an environment that remains uncertain, we approach the second half of the year with caution.”
The company said it benefited from rebounding demand in Asia, as well as from a favourable comparison base in its domestic market, which was hurt by a fall in tourism a year earlier.
By Robert Williams; editors: Eric Pfanner, Thomas Mulier.