In the first quarter of 2009, the luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton saw a slight uptick in revenues, which grew by 0.4 percent to €4.02 billion. However, in constant currencies and on a comparable basis, there was a drop of 7 percent.
However, the big fashion and leathergoods division of the group saw positive growth, with revenues going up by 11 percent to €1.60 billion in terms of euros and by 4 percent on a comparable basis. Louis Vuitton continued to report a double-digit increase in turnover, with particular strength in Europe, Asia and the U.S.. Good momentum from Marc Jacobs’ accessories and licensing operations also helped the segment.
Significantly, the other divisions of LVMH had negative scores on an organic basis. Comparables sales declined by 22 percent for wine and spirits, by 11 percent for perfumes and cosmetics, by 41 percent for watches and jewelry, and by 1 percent in selective retailing.
The company denied a report that it was negotiating the sale of its assets in the wine and spirits sector. It said it would strictly manage costs and invest selectively.
In contrast with the performance of Louis Vuitton and other brands directly controlled by LVMH, such as Givenchy, the separately owned Christian Dior brand recorded major declines in the first quarter. Christian Dior Couture fell by 8 percent to €169 million, a 12 percent drop in constant currencies. Sales declined in the U.S. and Japan, but that China and the Middle East were strong.
The Christian Dior Group, which controls LVMH as well as Christian Dior Couture, thus ended the quarter with flat consolidated sales of €4.2 billion.