PARIS, France — A standout performance by LVMH's fashion and leather goods business boosted third-quarter sales growth, it said on Tuesday, offering an encouraging sign for a luxury goods sector gripped by fears of a slowdown in China.
The Louis Vuitton owner, which has a stable of brands ranging from couture label Givenchy to cognac maker Hennessy, has profited along with a handful of rivals such as Gucci-owner Kering from rebounding demand among Chinese customers in the past two years.
Concerns over a trade war between Beijing and Washington and a falling yuan has rattled luxury goods stocks in recent weeks, though there is little sign of waning spending among young and digital-savvy Chinese shoppers with a taste for branded goods.
LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods company, posted a 14 percent rise in comparable sales in the division covering sales of high-margin handbags and fashion, beating the 12 percent increase expected in an Inquiry Financial poll of analysts.
Powered by Vuitton, the single most important contributor to the conglomerate's sales, the division is also home to fashion brand Christian Dior, which has been revamping its accessories with the recent relaunch of its 1990s Saddle bag.
LVMH, the first luxury goods player to report for the three months to Sept. 30, said sales reached 11.4 billion euros ($13.1 billion) in the quarter and were up 10 percent on a comparable basis, in line with forecasts.
By Sarah White and Pascale Denis; editor: David Goodman.