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Business of luxury paying off for LVMH

LVMH, which has in its portfolio luxury brands Tag Heuer (Louis Hamilton); Moet Hennessy (horse racing and golf); Mumm (F1) and indeed Louis Vuitton itself (America’s Cup), has reported bumper sales despite consumer gloom across many other sectors. All its major divisions have delivered sales rises of 10% or more this year and company finance chief Jean-Jacuqes Guiony oozed with confidence at the launch of the latest results. The business of luxury has roared away in emerging markets like China despite adverse economic conditions. Luxury is, of course, not just a financial equation but very influenced by social trends in aspirational societies. LVMH products tend to be at the affordable end of luxury playing well to the tastes of newly enriched consumers. At one point 80+% of women in Hong Kong were said to be carrying one of its Louis Vuitton handbags although widely available fake products make this number suspect. Even the keenest of market researchers would baulk at asking a lady to disclose the contents of her handbag and certainly not its provenance.  

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