The growth of the Fashion & Leathergoods segment of LVMH softened to 11 percent in euros and 3 percent in local currencies during the second half of 2015. In the full financial and calendar year, its sales went up by 14 percent to €12.37 billion. On an organic basis, excluding the positive impact of foreign currencies, they grew by 4 percent. It was the smallest annual sales increase within the LVMH group, whose total sales went up by 6 percent on a currency-neutral basis and by 16 percent in euros, reaching €37.51 billion.
The operating income of the Fashion & Leathergoods unit increased by 10 percent to €3,505 million last year. All other segments booked higher profit increases with the exception of Selective Retailing. Overall, the group's operating profit rose by 16 percent to €6.83 billion last year.
The management said that Louis Vuitton's profitability remained at an exceptional level and that its sales grew at a double-digit rate, ending the year on a high note. Among the other fashion brands, it mentioned the progress of Fendi, Céline, Givenchy and Kenzo.
LVMH's performance was particularly strong in Europe, the U.S. and Japan. Sales increased by 10 percent in Europe for the year, but the growth declined to 6 percent in the last quarter. The annual turnover rose by 9 percent in the U.S. and by 13 percent in Japan, but fell by 5 percent in the rest of Asia, dragged down by the difficult market situation in Hong Kong and Macau.
The group made a net profit of €3,573 million for year. It was 20 percent higher than in 2014 excluding the extraordinary gain made in December 2014 from the distribution of Hermès shares that LVMH had acquired on favorable conditions.
Separately, Christian Dior Couture scored a 17.1 percent sales increase to nearly €1.87 billion, rising by 7 percent on a comparable basis, and its operating earnings jumped by 21 percent to €240 million. Sales rose at an even stronger rate of 19 percent in Dior's own stores.
Dior's good results contributed to raise the consolidated revenues of the whole Christian Dior Group, including its stake in LVMH, by 16 percent to €37.5 billion, with a currency-neutral increase of 6 percent. The group's operating earnings grew by 16 percent, too, reaching €6.82 billion. The Christian Dior Group's net income rose by 20 percent to €1,537 million excluding the impact from the distribution of Hermès shares in December 2014.
The management of the group expressed confidence about the results for this year, mentioning factors like a quest for strong innovation and quality, plus the agility of its teams and their entrepreneurial spirit.