Sephora and Louis Vuitton owner LMVH has reported record first half results as online sales continue to grow quickly.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton this week posted sales of €28.7bn (£24.5bn) in the first half of 2021. That’s 56% up on the same time last year. LVMH profits from recurring operations came in at €7.6bn (£6.4bn), some 357% up on the 2020 figure. The retailer said that sales direct to customers were growing quickly, both in-store and online.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LMVH, says: “LVMH has enjoyed an excellent half-year and is reaping the benefits of having continued to innovate and invest in its businesses throughout the pandemic despite being in the midst of a global crisis. The creativity, the high- quality and enduring nature of our products and the sense of responsibility that drives us, have been critical in enabling us to successfully withstand the effects of the pandemic; they will remain firmly embedded in all our Maisons, thereby ensuring their continued desirability.
“Highlights from the first half include the integration of the Maison Tiffany and the inauguration of La Samaritaine after an ambitious renovation program. Within the current context, as we emerge from the health crisis and see a recovery in the global economy, I believe that LVMH is in an excellent position to continue to grow and further strengthen our lead in the global luxury market in 2021.”
The retailer said that its fashion and leather goods business group, which includes Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Fendi, had posted a “remarkable performance”, with record revenue and profitability as they gained a greater share of all of its markets. Revenue in this division grew by 74% to €13.9bn (£11.9bn), while profitability grew more than threefold to €5.7bn (£4.9bn).
Its selective retailing group, which includes beauty business Sephora and luggage business DFS, posted revenue of €4bn (£3.4bn), 5% up on the same time last year. However, sales were still 25% lower than in pre-pandemic 2019. Profits from recurring operations improved to €131m (£111.99m) from a loss of €308m (£263.3m) a year earlier.
“Sephora achieved a good level of performance in a commercial environment which was acted by store closures in several countries in Europe,” says LMVH in this week’s statement. “Online sales continue to progress all over the world. A strategic partnership has been signed with Zalando, which is expected to launch in Germany by the end of the year.”
And in its perfume and cosmetics business group, which includes Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy, revenue grew 31% on last time to €3bn (£2.6bn), while profits recovered to €393m (£335.98m) from a loss of €30m (£25.6m) last time.
In the half-year figures, LVMH says of the perfume and cosmetics group: “Our brands are benefitting from continued growth in online sales, partially offsetting the impact of the suspension of international travel and the closure of many points of sale.”
Both Sephora and Louis Vuitton are listed in the RetailX Europe Brand Index, where Sephora is ranked Elite and Louis Vuitton is ranked Leading. Sephora last week agreed to buy UK beauty retailer and marketplace Feelunique.