In a rare television interview with CNBC, LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault decided to set the record straight when it comes to the China market, where the world’s top luxury conglomerate has seen slowing growth rates over the past several quarters.
In Arnault’s opinion, talk of a China slowdown is overblown. “My definition of a recession for a country that is growing at around 7 percent is not a recession. It is a fast-growing country. If you take Europe, Europe is certainly not growing as fast,” he said.
According to him, although China has had some “bumps” over the years, its overall growth has reflected a “very, very positive trend” because of the growing buying power of Chinese consumers. The company saw 8 percent China growth for 2013 as it focused on ramping up the exclusivity of mega-brand Louis Vuitton and developing its smaller labels in the country.
Arnault states that the prospects for LVMH in China are “very good,” and “the level of knowledge from the Chinese population about quality European products is growing very fast.” In his view, growth will continue for the next “10 or 20 years for sure.”