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Luxury retailer LVMH sees revenues rise

BBC News BBC News 12/04/2016
Models in the Christian Dior Spring Summer 2016 show during Paris fashion week last month © Getty Images Models in the Christian Dior Spring Summer 2016 show during Paris fashion week last month

Luxury retailer LVMH saw a 4% gain in revenue for the first quarter this year, compared with last year.

Global sales totalled €8.62bn (£6.9bn; $9.8bn) for the three months to March.

LVMH owns more than 60 luxury brands, including the Kenzo fashion line and the high-end watch labels Bulgari and TAG Heuer.

The company said the US market is strong, and "Europe remains well oriented except for France which is affected by a fall in tourism."

The Paris terror attacks in November last year led to a 50% drop at some store sales. The retailer makes 10% of all its sales in France. The company's headquarters is in Paris.

The perfumes and cosmetics part of the business saw the biggest jump in revenue in the first quarter, at 9%. Much of the boost came from strong sales from the Christian Dior brand.

But the results fell slightly short of analysts' expectations. According to a Reuters poll, industry-watchers were expecting sales to come in slightly higher at €8.72bn.

"Overall this is not very surprising, as LVMH and LVMH fashion and leather goods are so big that they can be seen as a proxy of the luxury goods sector - and the luxury goods sector is on the back foot," said Luca Solca, analyst at Exane BNP Paribas.

The retail group used to enjoy double-digit sales growth in China, with strong demand coming from the middle class. The company now faces much stiffer competition there, causing demand to slow.

Also, the Chinese government last year imposed a strict clampdown on luxury and ostentatious spending by government officials. That has led to a decline in luxury goods sales across the industry in China.

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