Sephora and fragrances help drive LVMH performance

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

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A combination of good product diversity, further boosted by strong personal care sales helped give LVMH a solid performance during the fourth quarter and 2008.

The company announced that fourth quarter group sales were up 4 per cent to €5.24bn, whereas full year sales were also up 4 per cent to €17.2bn.

Breaking this performance down, the company’s perfumes and cosmetics division recorded sales up 2.2 per cent to €787m, whereas full year sales were up 5 per cent to €2.87bn.

Sales for the company’s retail segment, which is driven by the Sephora cosmetic chain, grew by 5 per cent during 2008 to €4.37bn.

Christian Dior midas touch

Breaking the figures down, the company said that in its perfumes and cosmetics division, profit during 2009 came in at €290m, driven by a strong performance from its Christian Dior J’Adore and Dior Homme Sport fragrances, together with Guerlain Homme and Givenchy Very Irresistable.

In the company’s retail division, the performance of Sephora was described as ‘excellent’ , driven by steady same-store sales growth, as well as strong on-line sales in France, the US and China.

The company’s performance is particularly impressive given that 2007 was a year of strong growth, combined with the fact that the economic downturn has seemed to particularly hit those players involved in the premium and luxury market.

'Exceptional reactivity'

“The 2008 results demonstrate the exceptional reactivity of our organisation in this period of economic crisis,”​ said CEO Bernard Arnault, who also outlined the company’s ability to strengthen its brands during economic downturns.

Furthermore, the results particularly indicate that the company has continued to perform well in the later half of the financial year, a period that has marked a distinct downturn for many of its competitors.

Highlighting this has been recently announced results from Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder, who have both issued profit warnings for 2009 on the back of a sharp decrease in their performance during the all-important holiday sesaon.

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