Surging Vuitton drives LVMH sales sharply up in second quarter
Adds details on fashion division, share price
PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) - Surging sales of Louis Vuitton handbags and Dior clothing powered stellar revenue growth at French luxury giant LVMH LVMH.PA in the second quarter of this year, as coronavirus restrictions eased around the world.
LVMH said like-for-like sales, stripping out the effect of foreign exchange fluctuations, rose by 84% in the three months to June and stood at 14.7 billion euros ($17.36 billion), beating an analyst consensus forecast for 69% growth cited by UBS but in line with HSBC estimates.
First-half sales stood 11% above their pre-pandemic, 2019 levels.
The fashion and leather goods division, which accounts for almost half of total revenues, more than doubled revenues compared to the second quarter of a year ago, which was the hardest hit by the coronavirus emergency.
Sales of luxury goods have recovered sharply this year with LVMH, the sector's biggest company and owner of more than 70 brands ranging from Moet & Chandon champagne to Guerlain cosmetics, benefiting more than others and gaining market share.
LVMH sales have been boosted in particular by strong growth in China and the United States, which have allowed the group to shrug off the global health crisis much more quickly than initially expected.
The group said its operating profit in the first six months of this year more than quadrupled compared to a year ago, beating expectations among analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Shares in LVMH have surged by more than 70% since June last year, making the group the biggest European company by market capitalisation and allowing its boss Bernard Arnault to briefly overtake Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world. ($1 = 0.8468 euros)
(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi and Mimosa Spencer, Editing by Sarah White)
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