French luxury group LVMH basks in profit

10th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 9 (AFP) - The French luxury goods group LVMH, which produces fashion, jewellery, leather goods, spirits and watches, posted Wednesday a net profit of more than EUR 1 billion and said it would focus on top brands in 2005.

PARIS, March 9 (AFP) - The French luxury goods group LVMH, which produces fashion, jewellery, leather goods, spirits and watches, posted Wednesday a net profit of more than EUR 1 billion and said it would focus on top brands in 2005.

Net profit last year surged 39.7 percent to EUR 1.010 billion (USD 1.352 billion), up from EUR 723 million a year earlier, on pre-announced sales of EUR 12.623 billion, up six percent, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton said in a statement.

LVMH confirmed it expected to post a tangible increase in operating profit in 2005 as full-year operating profit rose 11 percent to EUR 2.42 billion from EUR 2.182 billion a year earlier, just ahead of the company's forecast.

LVMH had previously predicted a 10 percent growth in 2004 operating profit as well as "significant growth" for operating profit in 2005.

Operating profit and net profit were in line with JCF Group's compiled forecasts of EUR 2.41 billion and EUR 1.057 billion, respectively.

LVMH said it would pay a dividend of EUR 0.95 per share for 2004, up from EUR 0.85 in 2003.

Net debt continued to fall in 2004, with the ratio of net debt to equity narrowing to 50 percent in 2004 from 57 percent a year earlier.

The company, which owns such brands as Dior, Dom Perignon, Celine, Givenchy, Hennessy, Moet and Chandon, TAG Heuer and Veuve Clicquot, also said it posted organic sales growth of 12 percent for the first two months of 2005.

Groupe Christian Dior, the holding company for both LVMH and Christian Dior Couture, said full-year net profit surged 53 percent to EUR 464 million from EUR 303 million a year earlier.

Operating profit rose to EUR 2.461 billion from EUR 2.213 billion, on a six percent increase in sales to EUR 13.2 billion.

Looking ahead, LVMH said it "will continue its strategy of concentrating on internal growth and the development of its leading brands in 2005.

"As in 2004, the group is targeting an improvement in profitability and is focusing on cash flow. LVMH has set itself an objective of a tangible increase in operating income in 2005."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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