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Life & Style

LVMH shares fall as second-quarter sales fail to impress

Published July 26, 2023
A model presents a creation by designer Pharrell Williams as part of his Menswear ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2024 collection show for fashion house Louis Vuitton, on the Pont Neuf bridge, during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, France, June 20, 2023. Photo: Reuters
A model presents a creation by designer Pharrell Williams as part of his Menswear ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2024 collection show for fashion house Louis Vuitton, on the Pont Neuf bridge, during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, France, June 20, 2023. Photo: Reuters

PARIS: Shares in LVMH fell on Wednesday as an in-line increase in sales at the world’s top luxury indicated the overall sector was moving towards a less impressive path of growth.

Despite a “solid” growth rate, the report “will likely trigger further questions…on whether we are now at the end of the positive earnings revision cycle for luxury and on the drivers of sector growth going forward,” wrote analysts at JP Morgan.

LVMH shares were down 3.7% in early session trading, also dragging down the shares of its rival Kering.

The French company on Tuesday reported a 17% increase in second quarter sales, a touch better than analyst expectations for 16% growth.

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LVMH’s leather goods division, home to Vuitton and Dior, grew revenue by 21% versus an expected 20% increase.

The narrow beat for a company that had routinely delivered results ahead of expectations, and is regarded as a bellwether for the luxury industry, flagged the “normalisation” of the sector after years of stellar growth driven by post-pandemic euphoria, Luca Solca at Bernstein said.

“We never said that growing 20% per annum as we’ve been doing roughly speaking…is a new normal,” LVMH chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony told analysts on a conference call late Tuesday.

The executive suggested the rate of the company’s share price, up around 11.5% per year for the past three decades, was a better measure.

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“Maybe that’s also an indication of the underlying business,” said Guiony.

LVMH reported a 1% fall in U.S. sales as appetite for high-end fashion and leather goods slowed there as well as lower-than-expected margins due to high marketing spending.

After hefty investment in high profile events, notably Pharrell Williams’ debut fashion show at Vuitton – LVMH said it plans to rein in marketing spending in the second half of the year to maintain flat margins.

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