LVMH's share price grew by 3.3 percent after the group announced a sales increase of 11 percent on an organic basis for the first quarter. Revenues from Fashion & Leathergoods rose by 15 percent, topping analysts' estimates of an increase of 11 to 12 percent.
The sales increases, which marked an acceleration from the fourth quarter of 2018, lifted the company's stock market capitalization to a record level of more than €170 billion, making its largest shareholder, Bernard Arnault, the second-wealthiest man in the world after Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.
The group's largest brand, Louis Vuitton, continued its “remarkable growth” across all its businesses, said the company. Christian Dior Couture performed “exceptionally well” in all the product categories and regions. LVMH also noted that Fendi, Loewe and Berluti were growing fast.
On a reported basis, LVMH's revenues rose by 12.5 percent to €12.54 billion in the quarter. The group mentioned a “buoyant environment.” The Fashion & Leathergoods division recorded a 20 percent increase to €5,111 million.
Incidentally, Julia Toledano, a daughter of Sidney Toledano, who runs the Fashion & Leathergoods division after leading Dior for 20 years, has just launched her own footwear brand. Called Nodaleto, it is inspired by the Spanish and Moroccan roots of her family. Made in the region of Venice, the collection should be available soon online and at selected stores.
Meanwhile, after its recent takeover of Rimowa, LVMH has made another major diversification into the tourism sector with the acquisition of Belmond, a group of high-end hotels, restaurants and luxury travel operations that counts among its assets the Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice and the Venice Simplon-Orient Express railway. The transaction carries an enterprise value of $3.2 billion.