LVMH is starting off the new year with some celebratory results.
On April 13, the world’s largest luxury group reported that revenue jumped 32 percent in the first quarter of 2021 to 14 billion euros ($16.7 billion), thanks to strong sales in Asia and the US. This growth wasn’t just good for pandemic-stricken times; it actually beat out 2019 numbers, with total organic sales rising 8 percent compared to the same period two years ago.
While all activities, except selective retailing, contributed to LVMH’s comeback, it was fashion and leather goods that saw the most success. Bolstered by its big name brands, this segment posted record levels of revenue growth, up 52 percent compared to 2020 and 37 percent compared to 2019. As expected, these results were led by reigning champs Louis Vuitton and Dior, which doubled down on serving their local clients.
One only has to look at China — which helped drive LVMH’s 86 percent sales surge in Asia — to see this strategy in play. In January, Louis Vuitton appointed “Mulan” actress Liu Yifei as its new brand ambassador, leveraging her 68 million Weibo followers and international appeal to strengthen its digital performance. Meanwhile, Dior drew 11 million viewers with its Spring 2021 Couture livestream and star-studded discussion panel that month, following the welcomed launch of its Lunar New Year Collection.
This quarter also marked the integration of Tiffany & Co. for the first time since its acquisition closed in January, which more than doubled the size of the watches and jewelry segment and offset negative currency impact. Little was said, however, other than the jewelry Maison “saw an excellent start to the year.”
Looking ahead, the luxury giant stated that it “is well-equipped to build upon the hoped-for recovery in 2021 and regain growth momentum for all its businesses.” And so far, between Dior’s Shanghai Fashion Week appearance and scheduled pop-up stores, as well as the launch of Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades exhibition in Hong Kong this month, it looks like LVMH may be popping champagne by the year’s end as well.