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LVMH delivers strong first half fashion sales

LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, saw fashion and leather goods sales rise 6% to €2.7 billion (£2.1bn) for the first half of 2008. Operating profit rose to €858 million (£675m).

LVMH as a whole saw sales rise 5% to €7.7bn (£6bn) for the first half, reflecting organic growth (which takes into account comparable sales and exchange rate fluctuations) of 12%. Profit from recurring operations was up 7% to €1.54bn (£1.21bn).

Within fashion and leather goods, the Louis Vuitton brand delivered exceptional profitability, helped by the recent Louis Vuitton collaboration with the artist Richard Prince. LVMH said that Fendi had continued the growth curve experienced in 2007 and that the Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Kenzo, Pucci and Loewe labels had all performed strongly.

LVMH chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault said: "The first half results once again demonstrate the exceptional appeal of our brands as well as the effectiveness of our strategy, particularly remarkable given the adverse currency and economic environment seen during this period. LVMH thus proves its exceptional capacity to grow thanks to the strength of its brands, the responsiveness of its organisation and the talent of its teams. Reassured by the strong momentum in the first half of the year, the group approaches the second half with confidence. It will rely upon the creativity and quality of its products as well as the efficiency of its teams to pursue further development in its historical markets as well as in high potential emerging markets. All these elements enable us to confirm our objective of a tangible increase in results for 2008."

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