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LVMH shrugs off boycott

The chairman of luxury goods group LVMH has denied that Chinese threats to boycott the brand have hit the business.
Commenting on accusations by Chinese internet users that the company supported the Dalai Lama, taking a pro-Tibet stance against China, Bernard Arnault told the French press: “I categorically deny the allegations made against us on these blogs about the support we would have given to this or that political or religious cause.”

Chinese shoppers were also urged to boycott the stores of French retailer Carrefour, in which Arnault has a stake, from next month.
Arnault refuted claims that LVMH had donated money to the Dalai Lama, and said the allegations were groundless. “Even if one can be shocked by what’s happening in Tibet, it is equally shocking to see attacks against China,” he said. “China has made immense progress in its economic development and its opening up to the world.”

Sales at Christian Dior Group, where Arnault is also chairman and chief executive, rose 11% over the first quarter of 2008. Sales at the French luxury goods group leapt from €3.8 billion to €4.2bn (£3bn to £3.3bn) for the three months to March 31 2008 compared with the year before.

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