LVMH’s management is confident that sales will continue to grow for the remainder of the year despite the comparison with strong sales reported in the 4th quarter of 2003. LVMH’s optimism has been partially fuelled by tourism levels improving in October and continuing economic growth in the USA and Asia, a momentum that the group expects to extend through the 4th quarter. A significant increase in operating income is still expected for the full 2004 financial year.

LVMH reports organic sales growth of 13 percent for the first nine months of 2004 in terms of comparable structures and constant exchange rates, although on an absolute basis group sales grew by only 7 percent to €8.754 billion. The group’s organic sales growth softened down to 10 percent during the third quarter of this year as compared to the same period a year ago.

The fashion and leather goods division generated revenues of €3.105 billion over the first nine months, rising by 6 percent in reported euros and by 10 percent in organic terms. The Louis Vuitton brand continued to post double-digit organic growth in the 3rd quarter, and the Celine, Loewe and Marc Jacobs brands performed well. The Spring/Summer 2005 collections have been positively received by the media and international buyers, those from Christian Dior, Vuitton, Pucci, Loewe and Kenzo.