Profits up as Louis Vuitton goes further upmarket
Louis Vuitton, the world's largest luxury-goods maker, reported a 2pc gain in annual profit as growth in fashion and leather-goods sales rebounded in the fourth quarter.
Profit from recurring operations climbed to €6.02bn, Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton said yesterday, matching the average of 19 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Organic fashion and leather-goods sales rose 5pc in 2013, accelerating from a 4pc gain in the first nine months of the year.
Louis Vuitton is introducing more expensive products and opening fewer stores as LVMH's biggest and most profitable brand seeks to move upscale amid softening demand in Europe and Asia.
The transition is going to take some time, chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony has said.
"Despite an uncertain economic environment in Europe, LVMH is well-equipped to continue its growth momentum across all business groups in 2014," the company said.
Total 2013 revenue advanced to €29.15bn, LVMH said. Analysts predicted €29.4bn. Sales rose 8pc on an organic basis, matching estimates.
LVMH is boosting investment in some of its smaller fashion brands and buying stakes in others to help offset slowing growth at Vuitton.
LVMH shares fell 0.7pc to €122.5 in Paris trading yesterday. The results were released after markets closed.