Sales: $5.4 billion
Key Personnel: Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer; Antonio Belloni, group managing director; Nicolas Bazire, development and acquisitions; Chantal Gaemperle, human resources and synergies; Jean-Jacques Guiony, finance; Chris de Lapuente, Sephora and Beauty; Philippe Schause, duty-free stores; Jean Baptiste Voisin, strategy.
Major Products: Perfumes and Cosmetics. Brands include Guerlain, Acqua de Parma, Parfums Christian Dior, Givenchy Parfums, Perfumes Loewe, Benefit Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Kenzo Parfums and Fresh.
New Products: Givenchy—Mon Guerlain; Sephora—Kat Von D; Benefit—Brow Collection; Guerlain—La Petite Robe Noire; Kenzo—Kenzo World; Fresh—Vitamin Nectar; Parfums Loewe—Loewe 001; Christian Dior—Poison Girl, Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming. To be launched: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna.
Comments: Remember the Great Recession of 2008-09? The LVMH customer certainly doesn’t! While others struggle, this decidedly prestige house of consumer brands continues to post gains year after year. Corporate sales rose 5% in 2016 and sales of perfumes and cosmetics increased 6%.
By region, Asia (excluding Japan) accounted for 28% of perfume and cosmetic sales, followed by Europe (ex-France), 25%; US, 18%; France and Other Markets, 12% each; and Japan, 5%. Last year, makeup surpassed fragrance as LVMH’s biggest business, 44% v. 38%, with skin care accounting for 18% of sales.
The biggest internal news in 2016 was the redevelopment of Les Fontaines Parfumées. Located in Grasse, the heart of the fine fragrance industry, the site celebrates the creativity and expertise of local artisans and the exceptional characteristics of raw materials in the Grasse region. By brand, Parfums Christian Dior’s sales rose on the strength of Sauvage, J’adore and Miss Dior. Guerlain benefited from the introduction of a new makeup collection and the rollout of a new version of Intense fragrance. Parfums Givenchy posted big gains in Asia, due to the popularity of Le Rouge Lipstick and Prisme Libre face powder. Benefit Cosmetics had a hit on its hands with the rollout of Brow Collection, while sales of Make Up For Ever increased in every region of the world, according to LVMH.
Consumers’ thirst for luxury goods wasn’t quenched in Q1, as LVMH’s corporate sales rose 15% and all groups contributed to the increase as gains were posted in Asia, Europe and the US. Sales of perfumes and cosmetics increased 12% in the period, driven by the success of Christian Dior fragrances and cosmetics and Guerlain’s launch of Mon Guerlain.
Parfums Givenchy benefited from the development of its lipstick offerings in Asia, and Kat Von D, which bowed in Sephora at the start of the year, has found a growing audience. At the close of the quarter, the company announced that Maison Francis Kurkdjian is joining the group. The fragrance house was founded in 2009 by Marc Chaya and Francis Kurkdjian, who continue in their roles as CEO and creative director, respectively. Its collection of fragrances are available in 40 countries.
This fall, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna will debut in the Kenzo division.