LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group, has benefited from gravity-defying spending by the wealthiest people in society as sales in the first half of this year have risen to above the same period before the pandemic in 2019.
Revenue for the six months to the end of June rose by 14% compared to 2019, but this was boosted by acquisition including Tiffany.
Excluding these acquisitions, and adjusting for exchange rate variation, LVMH said sales growth over two years ago was 11%.
Total revenue for the six month period was €28.7 billion, up 56% on last year’s pandemic-affected half year.
Sales for the Watches and Jewelry division almost quadrupled to €4 billion in comparison to last year. The result now includes jewellery giant Tiffany for the first time alongside the likes of Bulgari and Chaumet; and watchmakers TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith.
Europe was the only region to see sales fall from last year to this as lock downs and store closures held back retail economies.
For the six months to June, France revenue dropped from €8 billion to €5 billion; the rest of Europe’s revenues fell from €16 billion to €14 billion.
USA sales were slightly up (€24bn to €25bn), while Asia, including Japan, grew fastest from €41bn to €45bn.
Group profits from recurring operations showed a dramatic rise from €1.7 billion for the first six months of 2020 to €7.6 billion.
Watches and Jewelry flipped a loss of €17 million into a profit of €794 million, although it includes €339 million positive impact from the consolidation of Tiffany in the first half of 2021.
LVMH Watches and Jewelry
The Watches and Jewelry business group saw organic revenue growth of 71% with respect to the first half of 2020 and 5% compared with 2019 (excluding Tiffany).
Including Tiffany, growth was much stronger, showing the transformative contribution of this iconic brand, Richemont says in its financial statement.
Tiffany particularly distorts the results for the United States, where sales for the first half of the year rose from €7 billion in 2020 to €22 billion this year.