PARIS, FRANCE – France’s LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury group, reported a jump in sales in the first quarter as China emerged from Covid lockdowns and other regions performed well.
The group, whose brands include handbag maker Louis Vuitton, champagne producer Moet & Chandon and fashion house Christian Dior, said revenue soared 17 percent to US$23.1 billion (21 billion euros) in the first three months of the year.
“LVMH had an excellent start to the year, within a geopolitical and economic environment which remains uncertain,” the company said, adding that it remained “both vigilant and confident”.
LVMH became Europe’s most valuable company in January when its market capitalization soared to US$440 billion (400 billion euros).
Its boss, Bernard Arnault, overtook Tesla chief Elon Musk as the world’s richest man late last year.
LVMH said its markets in Europe and Japan “enjoyed strong growth momentum” in the first quarter with “robust demand from local customers and international travellers”.
The United States had a steady performance while “Asia experienced a significant rebound following the lifting of health restrictions”.
The company said its flagship fashion and leather goods division, home to Louis Vuitton, Dior and Celine, reported US$11 billion (10 billion euros) in sales, up 18 percent from the same period in 2022.
Hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams was appointed as head of menswear at Louis Vuitton in February, filling a spot left vacant since the death of Virgil Abloh from cancer in November 2021.
LVMH said Christian Dior, which has been headed by Arnault’s daughter, Delphine Arnault, since February, “continued to perform remarkably well across all its products”.
Its duty free division benefited from the recovery of international travel, notably the return of travelers to Hong Kong and Macau.