LVMH's Profit Rises 24% in First Half

By Nick Kostov and Matthew Dalton Features Dow Jones Newswires

French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Wednesday said net profit in the first half of the year jumped 24%, fueled by strong sales across its portfolio of dozens of brands.

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LVMH's net profit for the half was EUR2.12 billion ($2.47 billion). Revenue for the period rose 15%. Handbag maker Louis Vuitton, LVMH's flagship brand, led the way, posting strong sales growth across the brand's product lines, the company said.

The conglomerate's sales received a bump from consolidating the operations of Rimowa, the German high-end luggage maker that LVMH took an 80% stake in this year.

LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods company, has ridden the wave of a rebound in the global luxury market after two off years marred by terror attacks in Europe and a pullback by Chinese shoppers. Tourism has rebounded as terror fears have waned, fueling high-end shopping sprees around the world. China's wealthy consumers are opening their wallets again.

"LVMH has enjoyed an excellent first half, to which all our businesses contributed," said Chief Executive Bernard Arnault.

"In an environment that remains uncertain, we approach the second half of the year with caution," he added.

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Sales at LVMH's brands, which include Hennessy Cognac, fashion house Fendi and watchmaker TAG Heuer, have proved resilient to the downturn. This year, LVMH's revenue growth is outpacing the rebound.

Organic revenue growth, which strips out the effects of the currency volatility, rose 12% for the half.

Bernard Arnault, the billionaire whose family controls LVMH, used last quarter to execute one of his biggest transactions in years, paying EUR12 billion to unite his fashion house Christian Dior with LVMH. The transaction places Dior, which Mr. Arnault also controlled for years through a separate company, in LVMH's portfolio.

Write to Nick Kostov at Nick.Kostov@wsj.com and Matthew Dalton at Matthew.Dalton@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 12:39 ET (16:39 GMT)