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LVMH profits slide but Louis Vuitton gains market share

LVMH, the luxury goods group, saw net profit fall 23% to €687 million (£593.2m) for the first six months of 2009. Sales rose 0.2% to €7.81 billion (£6.74bn) and the Louis Vuitton brand continued to gain market share.

Sales of fashion and leather goods across the entire LVMH group rose 8% to €2.9bn (£2.5bn) and 1% on a comparable basis. Profit from recurring operations was €919m (£793.9m).

“…the Group approaches the second half with confidence. It will rely upon the creativity and quality of its products…”

Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive, LVMH

LVMH said that its Louis Vuitton brand had recorded double-digit sales growth over the period and that profits continued to be “exceptional” from the luxury goods label. The label put in a good performance in Asia and Europe and the even the US showed some resilience.

However LVMH said that its other brands, which includes Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Loewe, Kenzo and Céline, had suffered a difficult second quarter because of poor trading at the department stores.

Separately Fendi, saw an improvement in performance in the second quarter and Donna Karan also consolidated its progress in terms of positioning and profitability.

LVMH said in a statement that it would continue to gain market share because of numerous planned product launches between now and the end of the year on top of planned expansion in global markets and cost management strategies.

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 global economic crisis. LVMH thus proves its exceptional capacity to resist thanks to the strength of its brands, the responsiveness of its organisation and the talent of its teams.”

“Reassured by the good resilience 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 effectiveness of its teams who implement notably cost reduction measures adapted to the crisis, to pursue further development in its historical markets as well as in high potential emerging markets.”

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