LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton welcomed record-high sales for 2018. In a report released on Tuesday, the world’s latest luxury goods conglomerate reveled that revenue for the full year amounted to a whopping 46.8 billion euros ($53.5 billion), an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. “We had another record year, both in terms of revenue and results,” chairman Bernard Arnault said on Tuesday, pointing to “the appeal of our brands and the agility of our teams” as helping to weather the “uncertain environment” that is luxury spending.
In terms of LVMH’s Fashion & Leather Goods business group, where brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, Givenchy, and Loewe, among others, reside, organic revenue growth reached 15 percent for the year, with profit from recurring operations up 21 percent.
LVMH specifically name-checked Louis Vuitton as “delivering an exceptional performance, to which all businesses and regions contributed. Its creative strength lies notably in its iconic leather goods lines which are continuously rejuvenated, and in its ready-to-wear and shoe lines.” The group was sure to note that Louis Vuitton is “the only brand in the world to never hold sales nor sell through outlets.”
Beyond its marquee brand, LVMH stated that “Christian Dior had an excellent first full year within LVMH thanks to the creativity of Maria Grazia Chiuri for the Women's collections and to the arrival of Kim Jones, the new Artistic Director of Dior Homme.” Moreover, “Celine entered a new and ambitious stage of its development with the arrival of Hedi Slimane as Artistic, Creative and Image Director of the brand.”
And still yet, in the Perfume & Cosmetics category, which “achieved organic revenue growth of 14%, driven by the performance of its flagship brands,” LVMH asserted that its Fenty Beauty joint venture with Rihanna continued to experience “exceptional growth.” (No word yet, though, on when we can expect the two to announce their latest venture, a full-fledged Fenty luxury collection).
Arnault, himself, who holds the title of the richest man in France added $4.3 billion to his personal fortune when LVMH’s shares “surged by 6.9 percent [on Wednesday in light of the company’s revenue and profit report], the most since mid-2016,” per Bloomberg.
The group’s full-year earnings report comes just over a week after Morgan Stanley questioned the sustainability of demand for the Louis Vuitton brand, in particular, in light of its significant presence in the market. In a research note released earlier this month, the American investment bank, citing the Paris-based brand’s market “ubiquity” could prove a “risk,” although “there is no evidence that Vuitton’s desirability has declined in any major geographies in the past few quarters.”