Luxury-lovers are shopping again, with LVMH reporting a 17% jump in revenues to €5.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, or about $7.2 billion. Building on a sales pickup that started in the final quarter of last year, the Paris-based luxury conglomerate says it is seeing increases in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and that all its business groups recorded double-digit sales gains for the three-month period.
Watches and jewelry showed the biggest jump, with revenues climbing 20% in organic growth. Earlier this year, the company formed a strategic alliance with Bulgari, and says it made gains via its TAG Heuer line, which strengthened its Carrera collection; Zenith, Hublot, and Chaumet. It also says its De Beers made significant progress in both Asia and the U.S.
In the wines and spirits division, sales rose 17%, with Champagne volumes climbing 8% and Hennessy cognac volumes increasing 16%.
Sales also recorded a 17% bump in its specialty retailing division, which includes Sephora.
In its fashion and leather goods divisions, sales advanced 13%, fueled by strong performances by Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Donna Karan. (That brand has also won accolades recently for its digital marketing efforts, including Best Twitter, Best Mobile App, Best Blog and Top Innovator at the recent Fashion 2.0 awards, given in New York.)
Even perfumes and cosmetics, an industry where many companies continue to struggle, LVMH's quarterly sales climbed 11%. The company attributed those advances to Christian Dior's launch of the Dior Addict lipstick and the rollout of a new perfume, Miss Dior. (The company recently signed Natalie Portman as its spokesperson.)
Guerlain increased sales of Shalimar, as well as its skincare range Orchidée Impériale. And Givenchy, Benefit and Make Up For Ever also gained in all markets. (By comparison, while other prestige fragrance and cosmetic companies are finally seeing growth again, NPD Group reports those gains are modest -- with total prestige beauty sales gaining just 4% in 2010.)