Lvmh Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury products group, recorded 13% organic sales growth for the first nine months of 2004. During this period, the Group achieved sales of EUR 8,754 million, an increase of 7%. Despite a high comparison base, Lvmh continued to demonstrate very strong momentum during the third quarter with organic sales growth of 10%.
This performance reflects the exceptional appeal of Lvmh brands and products, which continued to increase their market share, the success of the Group's strategy and the effectiveness of the teams who succeeded in achieving ever-increasing results.
The Wines & Spirits business group's brands have delivered an excellent performance since the beginning of the year. The champagne business made good progress in the US and Japan. Hennessy cognac posted good growth in the US during the period and continued its particularly rapid development in China, Taiwan and Russia.
The Fashion & Leather Goods business posted organic growth of 10% during the first nine months of 2004. Louis Vuitton continued its double-digit organic sales growth in the third quarter. Also noteworthy were the strong performances delivered by Celine, Loewe and Marc Jacobs.
The Group's spring/summer 2005 collections have been unanimously lauded by the media and by buyers from around the world, in particular the collections from Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Pucci, Loewe and Kenzo.
Sales at Perfumes & Cosmetics were driven by Parfums Christian Dior and Guerlain, both of which gained market share. The new ladies' perfume Pure Poison by Christian Dior and the new men's fragrance L'Instant pour Homme by Guerlain, have both had excellent debuts.
All the Watches & Jewelry brands posted double-digit organic sales growth during the first nine months of 2004, driving the business group's overall organic growth of 25%. TAG Heuer, which is celebrating 40 years of Carrerra, delivered a very strong performance in the US and in Asia, as did Zenith. The watch Chiffre Rouge developed by Hedi Slimane for Christian Dior enjoyed an excellent reception.
Sales at DFS continued to make good progress during the summer due to the rebound in tourism witnessed since the beginning of the year. Sephora reported good results in Europe during the first 9 months and continued to post double-digit sales growth on a comparable store basis in the US for the fourth consecutive year.
Due to the tremendous appeal of its products, Lvmh expects to continue to achieve sales growth over the remainder of the year despite the high comparison with the strong sales reported in the fourth quarter of 2003. Tourism levels have continued to gradually improve in October and the economic growth in the US and Asia continues. The Group expects this momentum to extend through the fourth quarter. In this context, Lvmh confirms its objective of a significant increase in operating income in 2004.