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Gradual Global Recovery Fuels Record Growth at LVMH

Full-year profits at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton grew 44 percent from 2020 levels, helped by growth in its fashion and leather goods business and an increase in sales in the U.S. and Asia.

In a Nutshell: “LVMH enjoyed a remarkable performance in 2021 against the backdrop of a gradual recovery from the health crisis. The Group’s record results could not have been achieved without the efficiency and exceptional ability of our teams to adapt and notably to remain connected to our customers, continuing to inspire dreams, despite the crisis,” Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO, said.

Arnault also commented on the passing of Virgil Abloh, who died of cancer at 41 in November. Abloh was the founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White, and artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton. “2021 was also a year in which LVMH was deeply moved by the tragic passing of Virgil Abloh, whose creative genius I would like to applaud. His immense visionary talent and his great wisdom will forever be embedded within the history of our Group,” the chairman said.

The company said it saw “exceptional performance” by the fashion and leather goods business group, citing its Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Celine and Loewe brands. LVMH said the brands “achieved record levels of revenue and profitability.”

The Louis Vuitton brand, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of its founder, “enjoyed a remarkable performance, driven by the success of Nicolas Ghesquière’s creations for the feminine universe of the Maison.” The company added that its Christian Dior Couture collection had an “excellent year with exceptional growth in all its product categories among local customers,” noting too that the latest fashion shows in Athens and Paris highlighting the collections of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Kim Jones received “tremendous reception.”

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“Celine, thanks to Hedi Slimane and to the success of his collections, and Fendi, driven by the success of Kim Jones collections, had a record year. Loewe, energized by the talent of JW Anderson, and Marc Jacobs also performed particularly well,” the French company said.

Net Sales: Revenue rose 44 percent to 64.22 billion euros ($71.55 billion) from 44.65 billion euros ($49.75 billion). When compared with 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, the gain was 20 percent.

The company said that strong revenue growth in Asia and the United States and a gradual recovery in Europe also helped with revenue growth. In addition, LVMH said it saw continue growth in online sales. However, travel retail activities are still held back.

By business group, the fashion and leather goods division grew 46 percent to 30.90 billion euros ($34.42 billion) from 21.207 billion euros ($23.63 billion). LVMH said the division posted organic growth of 51 percent in the fourth quarter when compared with 2019 levels. “Profit from recurring operations was up 79 percent compared to 2020 and 75 percent compared to 2019,” LVMH said.

Earnings: The company said net profits jumped 156 percent to 12.04 billion euros ($13.41 billion) from 4.702 billion euros ($5.24 billion) a year ago. On a two-year stacked basis, the increase was 68 percent from 2019 figures.

Profit from recurring operations rose 107 percent to 17.151 billion euros ($19.11 billion), representing also a 49 percent increase on a two-year stacked basis.

“Within the context of a gradual recovery from the health crisis, LVMH is confident in its ability to maintain its current growth momentum. The Group will continue to pursue a strategy focused on developing its brands building on strong innovation and investments as well as a constant quest for quality of their products, of their desirability and of their distribution,” LVMH said regarding its outlook for 2022.

CEO’s Take: “Our objective to strive for solid financial performance and our relentless quest for excellence remind us of our daily commitment to act in such a way as to make the world a better place. The Group and its Maisons carried out numerous actions in 2021 to promote biodiversity, protect nature and to preserve skills and craftsmanship, and will continue to do so in the years to come,” Arnault said. “Despite the uncertainties that remain at the start of this new year, which continues to be disrupted by health concerns, we approach 2022 with confidence and are convinced that LVMH is in an excellent position to further strengthen its lead in the global luxury market.”