The world's largest luxury goods company has reported a sales increase of 3 percent to €14 billion for the first half of this year. The growth rate amounted to 5 percent on an organic basis, excluding changes in structure or foreign exchange rates, but it shrank to 3 percent in the second quarter, due in particular to a reversal of consumption trends in Japan after the introduction of a higher sales tax on April 1.

The company said that the group showed resilience in Europe, while continuing to grow in the U.S. and Asia.  The Fashion & Leathergoods division posted a 7 percent increase in its revenues to €5,030 million in the first six months, with organic growth of 4 percent.

Excluding extraordinary items, LVMH booked a 5 percent lower operating profit of €2,576 million in the first half, equal to 18 percent of sales. Led by Louis Vuitton, the Fashion & Leathergoods division generated the highest profits at €1,487 million, but they were essentially flat as compared to a year ago because of currencies.

Separately, Christian Dior Couture, which owns the Christian Dior brand and holds more than 40 percent of LVMH's shares, has reported an operating profit of just over €6 billion for the financial year ended June 30, down one percent from the prior year, on revenues of €31 billion, up by 7 percent on a currency-neutral basis.

Dior alone saw its operating profit jump by 38 percent to €192 million for the year on 14 percent higher revenues of over €1.5 billion, with a 19 percent increase in local currencies. This compares with a drop of 3 percent in the operating profit of the Fashion and Leathergoods segment of LVMH during the same 12-month period on 5 percent higher sales of €10 billion.