LVMH Had Another Record-Breaking Year for Sales in 2018

Fashion and leather goods — by the likes of Louis Vuitton and Dior, specifically — are still bringing in big bucks for the luxury conglomerate.
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A leather handbag from the Louis Vuitton Men's Spring 2019 runway show in Paris. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

A leather handbag from the Louis Vuitton Men's Spring 2019 runway show in Paris. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

After posting a record-breaking year of sales in 2017, LVMH has outdone itself yet again with the announcement of its 2018 results on Tuesday, including a record net profit growth of 18 percent. Recorded revenue reached €46.8 billion (about $53.4 billion) in 2018, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. 

The growth comes as no surprise, and is a continuation of the conglomerate's recent streak of success: Sales were up across the board for LVMH during the first half of 2018, so much so that they were equivalent to its numbers for the entirety of 2010. 

Fashion and leather goods remain the driving force behind the double-digit increase in revenue and profit. (The category reported organic revenue growth of 15 percent in 2018, along with profit from recurring operations by 21 percent.) Executives at LVMH made sure to call out Louis Vuitton for its profitability, which "remains at an exceptional level." Indeed, Virgil Abloh's debut Spring 2019 collection is reportedly selling out faster than the high-key-hyped Supreme collaboration with Louis Vuitton Men's under the creative direction of Kim Jones, who now runs Dior Homme.

Since buying Christian Dior Couture in 2017 for a whopping $7.1 billion, execs are happy to report that its first year within LVMH has been "very good" with "excellent performance in all regions and product categories" for both Dior and Dior Homme. (We're betting the onslaught of marketing surrounding the Saddle Bag relaunch had something to do with this.) Not much was expanded upon regarding Marc Jacobs, aside from its "continued reorganization." And as for Celine, the luxury label has entered an "ambitious stage" under Hedi Slimane. "His first runway show in October was a global success," reiterates LVMH, and while critical reception of the collection was mixed, it's already gotten plenty of red carpet play and seems to be resonating commercially among buyers and Slimane fans.

"The desirability of our brands, the creativity and quality of our products, the unique experience offered to our customers and the talent and the commitment of our teams are the group's strengths and have once again made the difference," said Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. "In an environment that remains uncertain, we can count on the appeal of our brands and the agility of our teams to strengthen, once again in 2019, our leadership in the universe of high quality products."

Rihanna's reported luxury fashion brand deal with LVMH was brought up during the Q&A portion of the results call, but Arnault didn't have much to share. "We could pursue the concept of developing something with Rihanna," he responded. "But nothing is as firm as they stand now."

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