Luxury goods behemoth LVMH beat estimates Thursday, reporting 10 percent organic growth in the fourth-quarter. Analysts had forecast 8 percent growth, according to average estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The French group’s selective retailing unit was the fastest-growing division, with sales rising 21 percent as businesses like Sephora, Hong-Kong based tax-free shopping giant DFS and Belmond Hotels were lifted by the easing of Covid-era travel restrictions.
Fashion and leather goods, the biggest and most profitable division comprising mega-brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior and fast-growing fashion houses like Celine and Loewe, reported sales up 9 percent, in line with the previous quarter.
Full-year operating profit grew 8 percent to €22.8 billion euros ($24.7 billion).
In a statement, LVMH also confirmed reports that chairman Bernard Arnault would name two more of his children to the company’s board: Alexandre and Frédéric Arnault will be proposed as new administrators in April, joining siblings Delphine and Antoine. Former AXA CEO Henri de Castries is also set to join the board
In a meeting with analysts and press, the 74 year-old chairman said he had no plans to retire, however, “neither in the short or long term.”
Looking ahead at 2024, Arnault said he expected macro-economic conditions for the luxury sector to improve despite the growing risk of a wider conflict in the Middle East. “I anticipate that the economy will mostly move in a good direction for our products,” he said. “I’m relatively confident a solution will be found, but we do have to be prepared for if the situation should degrade.”