Paris: The world’s biggest luxury company, LVMH, reported an 11% jump in sales in the first quarter on Tuesday as buyers snap up watches, jewellery and high-end drinks after months of economic gloom.
Sales rose to 4.47 billion euros ($6.07 billion) -- higher than the 4.25 billion euros expected by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, thanks in particular to the Asian market, Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton said.
Paris-based LVMH, which owns brands including Moet champagne, Louis Vuitton handbags and Dior perfume, was hit by the crisis last year, with its net profit falling by 13% in 2009 and sales slipping by 1%.
“All of the business groups recorded double-digit organic revenue growth,” the company said in a statement, adding that sales “benefited from the end of destocking by distributors... and from a recovery in final consumer demand.”
Wines and spirits sales, which were heavily affected by the crisis in 2009, rose by 18%, while watches and jewelry were up 33%.
Overall sales in the fourth quarter of 2009 had risen by just 1%.
But the group said it was still “taking into account the uncertainty of the strength of the economic recovery” and would concentrate on developing its brands, keeping costs in check and making selective investments.
On the stock exchange, LVMH topped the gainers, with its shares up 3.50 % at 91.80 euros in morning trade in an overall flat market.
Analysts at CM-CIC, a French investment group, said investors welcomed the company’s strong sales performance, with the stock outperforming so far this .