LVMH surges back from pandemic in bumper first quarter

Paris (AFP) –


The world's top luxury goods group LVMH bounced back from the coronavirus pandemic to rake in higher sales in January-March than in the first quarter of 2019, the French company said in partial results published Tuesday.

At 14 billion euros ($16.7 billion), revenues grew 30 percent on 2020's coronavirus-hit figure to soar above analysts' forecasts of below 13 billion.

Adjusted for exchange rates and changes to LVMH's structure, they were also up eight percent on the pre-pandemic 2019 figure.

The biggest sales surge came for watches and jewellery, at almost 140 percent year-on-year, as the company integrated high-end jeweller Tiffany & Co after a months-long takeover drama.

Meanwhile the group's selective retailing business was the only one to shrink.

Bringing together businesses like Paris' Bon Marche department store, beauty chain Sephora and travel firms, the unit was "still impacted by the restrictions on international travel", LVMH said.

And the flagship fashion and leather goods division, with brands like Louis Vuitton and Kenzo, booked "record levels of revenue" at 6.7 billion euros, the group added.

While the business environment "remains turbulent", LVMH said it was "well-equipped to build upon the hoped-for recovery in 2021".