Excellent start to the year for the LVMH Group:
Organic Sales Growth for the first quater of 2005: +11 %
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury products group, reported organic* sales growth of 11% in the first quarter of 2005, which comes on top of a 10% increase in organic sales for the same period in 2004. Consolidated sales were 3,082 million Euros for the first quarter 2005.
The sales growth momentum since the beginning of the year is impressive with almost all business groups recording double-digit organic sales growth.
For the first time LVMH is releasing quarterly sales under IFRS with comparisons against the first quarter of 2004.
Wines & Spirits delivered organic sales growth of 13% during the first quarter 2005. The Dom Pérignon, Krug and Veuve Clicquot champagne brands performed very well. Moët & Chandon had a good start to the year in Europe. Hennessy enjoyed an impressive start as well, with strong sales growth in the US and Asia. Notably, China confirmed its growing potential as an important market for our brands.
Following its acquisition at the start of the year, Glenmorangie contributed to the group's sales growth. In addition, the Group strengthened its range of premium brands and has just launched a new prestige rum brand, 10 Cane.
In Fashion & Leather Goods, Louis Vuitton continued to achieve double-digit organic sales growth in the first quarter 2005. Growth for the brand continues in the US after an excellent 2004 and it has also enjoyed a good start to the year in Europe. A return to growth has been achieved in Japan and the Asian markets are progressing strongly, driven by growing tourism, notably from China. The start of the year was marked by the huge success of the new Monogram Cerises line which should continue throughout 2005.
Among the other fashion brands, Celine, Marc Jacobs, Pucci and Berluti all enjoyed a good start to the year and Fendi achieved double-digit sales growth in its stores.
In Perfumes & Cosmetics, Parfums Christian Dior continued to grow well in the quarter, driven by the success of Pure Poison and its skincare products. Sales progressed across all regions, with accelerating momentum in Asia and Europe. Guerlain is maintaining its renewed momentum thanks to the continued success of l'Instant and of its make-up products. BeneFit Cosmetics recorded double-digit sales growth in dollar terms.
Watches & Jewelry followed its strong progress in 2004 by recording strong organic sales growth of 21% for the first quarter 2005. TAG Heuer and Zenith grew at a double-digit rate despite a strong comparison period last year. Chaumet and Fred also had a good start to the year. The Group's brands did particularly well in the US, Asia and in France.
The new collections unveiled at the Basel Watch Fair by TAG Heuer, Zenith, Chaumet and Dior Watches confirmed the creative potential of these brands and all enjoyed strong orders.
In Selective Retailing, DFS had a good start to the year in line with the momentum recorded in 2004 and benefiting from the continuing recovery in Asian tourism, which has been driven by the weak dollar. Sales over Chinese New Year also increased.
Sephora continued to win market share in Europe and in France in particular, thanks to the excellent response to the brand's innovative services. In the US, Sephora continued to record double-digit sales growth on a comparable store basis for the first quarter 2005.
Within an unfavourable monetary environment, the tourism sector has witnessed a sustained recovery and both the US and Asian economies are in full expansion. Against this backdrop, LVMH will continue to pursue growth in 2005 by taking advantage of the strength of its brands, new product launches and penetration of new markets. Increasing market share and the profitability of our leading brands, as well as improving the performance of our developing companies and cash generation, remain LVMH's top priorities. Progress in each of these areas enables the Group to confirm its objective of another tangible increase in operating income for 2005.