Luxury Label Market Still Booming

      April 20, 2012 12:49

      Shoppers queue outside the Louis Vuitton flagship store on the Champ-Elysees in Paris. /AFP

      The global designer goods market has reported a two-digit growth in revenue despite the continuing recession. Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, the world's biggest luxury goods group with brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi and Celine, earned record sales in the first quarter this year.

      LVMH's sales climbed 25 percent to 6.58 billion euros in the first quarter, the company said on its website Wednesday. Watch and jewelry sales grew most sharply by 141 percent as a result of the group's purchase of Italian brand Bulgari last year. Liquor saw a 22 percent increase, fashion and sundry goods 17 percent and cosmetics 12 percent.

      LVMH's annual sales also soared from 20.3 billion euros in 2010 to 23.6 billion euros in 2011.

      The main reason was explosive growth in the Asian market. It now accounts for the largest proportion of LVMH's sales, rising from 30 percent in 2007 to 35 percent in 2011. The proportion of the European market dwindled from 23 percent to 21 percent, and that of the U.S. market from 25 percent to 22 percent.

      Asia also ranked top in terms of number of LVMH outlets with 981. Asia is a major market for LVMH wines and liquor, in addition to fashion and sundry goods, due to a wine fad in China as well as in Japan and Korea.

      LVMH is not the only designer goods company whose earnings rose. Despite the recession in the U.K., Burberry also reported a rise in its revenue amid increased global demand. Its sales reached 574 million pounds in the third quarter last year, up 21 percent on-year. They are still in the doldrums in Europe and North America, but demand rose explosively in Asia, especially in China.

      Prada's sales also soared 33 percent in the fourth quarter in 2011, up 33 percent from a year earlier, while Richemont, the group that owns Hermes, saw 24.3 percent sales growth.

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