LVMH reports record annual sales as luxury markets recover

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

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France-based luxury group Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton (LVMH) has seen sales surge as the global market for luxury goods recovers.

The company reported sales of €20.3bn for the full year 2010, the first time it has exceeded the 20 billion euro mark, according to the company, and 19 per cent up on last years figures.

Profit from recurring operations came in at €4.3bn, 29 per cent up on 2009’s figures.

Commenting on the positive economic environment, CEO Bernard Arnault said: “The quality of our products, the originality of our brands and the talent of our teams bolstered by the economic recovery allowed us once again to gain market share throughout the world.”

Perfumes and cosmetic sales up

Annual sales for perfumes and cosmetics (not including Sephora), which account for approximately 15 per cent of the company’s sales, grew 9 per cent to reach €3.1bn and profit from recurring operations in the business group was up 14 per cent to reach €332m.

However, comparisons for 2009 were difficult, especially given the flat sales during the economic downturn experienced in that year.

According to the company, sales were driven by both new launches and iconic existing products. Iconic perfumes that performed well during the year included J’adore, Poison and Eau Sauvage, under Parfums Christian Dior, and newer ranges to enjoy success were Rouge Dior lipstick and the Play for Her fragrance by Givenchy.

Sephora increases market share

Sephora was also highlighted as a top performer as it continued to gain market share during the year, according to the company.

In addition to strong sales in stores, the company stressed that internet sales for Sephora were positive.

A number of flagship stores were also opened in Asia and Europe during the year, as well as Sephora’s entrance into the Latin American market with the acquisition of online retailer Sacks.

LVMH acquired a 70 per cent controlling stake in Sack’s, held by the newly established Brazilian subsidiary, Sephora do Brasil, back in July last year.

At the time of the acquisition a spokesperson for Sephora told “This is the first acquisition in the South American market, and Brazil is one of the fastest developing countries in the region with very good growth potential for cosmetics and perfumes.”

Sack’s website carries over 270 brands, and according to LVMH, attracts four million unique visitors each month, making it one of the top-three most frequently visited e-commerce sites in the country.

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