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Following the results of Swatch Group for the 1st Semester 2020 and Richemont for the 1st Quarter 2020, respectively showing sales down by 43.4% and by 47%, it is now time for LVMH, the world’s leading group in luxury goods and a solid indicator of the state of the industry, to report its sales for the first half of the year. As expected, due to an economic environment disrupted by a global health crisis, sales are down quite importantly, however, the French group still shows a certain resilience in some of its divisions.
LVMH is the main player in the luxury field today with businesses operating in fashion, wines, selective distribution, perfumes and cosmetics, and of course, watches and jewellery. Due to the COVID 19 situation, the closure of shops and manufactures and the suspension of international travel, the group was expected to report revenue down by quite a margin. Altogether, for the first six months of 2020, LVMH sees its sales down by 28% at constant exchange rates – from EUR 25,082 million to EUR 18,393 million.
LVMH group reports a strong recovery of sales in the second quarter in China, where an important part of the revenue is generated – Asia (excl. Japan) accounts for 34% of the group’s sales. Also, LVMH sees a significant acceleration in online sales, yet only partially offsetting the impact on revenue of several months of store closures. Altogether, the profitability of the group has also been impacted, with an operating profit down by 71%.
Over the period, the most impacted regions are Europe (-33%) and Japan (-32%). The US market is slightly less impacted with sales down by 24%.
Finally, regarding the business units, we see that the fashion and leather goods division – where most of the group’s revenue is generated – shows some resilience to the crisis, with sales down by 24%. The watches and jewellery division, which includes TAG Heuer, Hublot, Zenith, Bvlgari, Fred and Chaumet, is the most impacted unit with sales down by 39%. The division is also impacted regarding its profitability with a negative profit from recurring operations.
Concerning this specific business area, LVMH comments that there’s a “rebound in China“, which is helped by “destocking at retailers“. Bvlgari shows “strong recovery in China in the second quarter“.
To conclude, LVMH indicates that a “gradual recovery is expected in the second half of 2020; yet it is impossible to have a precise evaluation of the impact on 2020 annual revenue and results given the uncertainty of timing and pace of return to normal“.
The full report is available at www.lvmh.com.