LVMH shares tumbled after the world’s largest luxury group reported softer sales growth in the third quarter — more evidence the post-pandemic boom in high-end goods is losing steam.
(Bloomberg) — LVMH shares tumbled after the world’s largest luxury group reported softer sales growth in the third quarter — more evidence the post-pandemic boom in high-end goods is losing steam.
Organic revenue at the crucial fashion and leather goods unit, which includes Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, rose 9%, the company said Tuesday, below analysts’ expectations and half the pace of the first six months. Sales at the wines and spirits unit tumbled 14%, much worse than estimates.
“After three roaring years and outstanding years, growth is converging toward numbers that are more in line with the historical average,” LVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Guiony said during the quarterly presentation.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE fell as much as 8.5% in Paris trading, the biggest intraday decline in almost two years. The stock, a favorite of investors in recent years, had already lost some luster as China’s recovery underwhelmed and demand from US consumers cooled.
The luxury group’s market value has plunged by about €110 billion ($117 billion) from a record in April. LVMH ceded its rank as Europe’s most valuable company to Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk A/S last month.
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LVMH is considered a bellwether for luxury and shares of rivals including Hermes International and Gucci owner Kering SA, which report later this month, also tumbled on Wednesday.
LVMH’s sales in Asia, excluding Japan, grew 11% — well short of estimates in the third quarter and a sign that China may be weaker than expected. The only unit that recorded sales ahead of analysts’ expectations was selective retailing, which includes cosmetics chain Sephora.
Asked about the long-term growth outlook of Dior, the group’s second biggest fashion label, Guiony said it had tripled in size in less than seven years.
“At some point, growth rates have to normalize,” he said. “Don’t expect the brand to continue to grow 30% per annum for ever. It will not happen,” he said, adding that Dior will continue to deliver value.
Guiony said its jewelry brand Bulgari fared a bit better in the third quarter due to its bigger exposure to Asia compared to Tiffany, which has a bigger footprint in the US. Organic revenue growth in the US was only 2% in the period.
Consumers ‘Sober Up’
Overall, LVMH posted 9% organic revenue growth, below estimates.
“This seems a sign of continuing moderation, as consumers sober up after the post-pandemic euphoria,” Bernstein analyst Luca Solca said in a note.
–With assistance from Jonathan Roeder.
(Updates with scope on share decline, loss of market value)
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