Confirming the good health of the luxury goods sector in these difficult times, LVMH reported a 12 percent increase on an organic, currency-neutral basis for the first half of this year, compared with the already strong first half of 2011. On a reported basis, total sales rose by 26 percent to €13 billion. Profit from recurring operations increased by 20 percent to €2,659 million, giving the company an operating margin of 21 percent.

The highest growth rates were reached in wines and spirits – especially cognac – watches and jewelry, and selective retailing. Sales of fashion and leathergoods rose by 10 percent on an organic basis and reached €4,656 million, up by 17 percent in reported terms. They generated a 10 percent higher operating profit of €1,561 million.

In local currencies, sales of fashion and leathergoods grew by 18 percent in the U.S. and by 9 percent in Europe. All the business lines contributed to the growth of the segment, including Fendi, Céline and Donna Karan. Donna Karan accessories performed relatively well.

Louis Vuitton, which celebrated the grand opening of its flagship store in Rome during the period, continued its double-digit growth, with a particularly strong momentum among Chinese and American clients and among tourists visiting Europe. Last July 19, Louis Vuitton inaugurated its biggest Chinese flagship store in Shangahi.

The management is confident about the results for the full year, despite the uncertain economic conditions in Europe