* LVMH says Louis Vuitton Q3 comparable to Q2
* Says no drop in demand but comparative basis high
By Astrid Wendlandt
PARIS, Oct 16 French luxury group LVMH
said its flagship Louis Vuitton brand had not suffered any major
slowdown in like-for-like sales growth in the third quarter
against the previous three months.
The Paris-based group calmed investor concerns that the
brand's growth was running out of steam, particularly in Asia,
after enjoying years of high growth, sending the stock up 3.6
percent to close at 128.25 euros.
"There is no major slowdown in the third quarter compared to
the second quarter," LVMH Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques
Guiony told a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, a day
after reporting third-quarter sales.
"Our figures for Louis Vuitton are pretty comparable to the
Guiony added, however, that there had been "some slowdown
here and there", particularly in Asia outside China, where there
were lower tourist flows this year compared with last year.
The CFO said there was no drop in demand for Louis Vuitton
products - which include LV-embossed canvas bags costing 600
euros ($780) - but that year-ago comparative figures were high.
Referring to Louis Vuitton's sales performance globally,
Guiony said: "Europe is a bit higher, U.S. a bit lower and China
is close to (the first half), with low single-digit (growth)."
Consultancy Bain & Co forecast global luxury sales growth
would slow to 10 percent this year at current exchange rates
from 11 percent in 2011.
"Vuitton is growing faster than that," Guiony said.
Louis Vuitton, which is the world's biggest luxury brand in
terms of sales with revenue of more than 7 billion euros, makes
up about 75 percent of the fashion and leather sales of parent
There have been concerns among luxury investors that Chinese
consumers were starting to fall out of love with big brands such
as Louis Vuitton and Gucci as they became more
Some investors also believe the Chinese government's
crackdown on corruption coupled with growing criticism of
conspicuous consumption has encouraged Chinese consumers to opt
for less logo-branded, more discreet luxury goods.
In its report published on Monday, Bain said the Chinese had
become the world's biggest buyers of luxury goods ahead of the
Japanese, the Americans and the Europeans. They had also become
increasingly sophisticated, "shifting from over-exposed logo
brands to absolute quality products".
Guiony conceded there was a "wait and see" attitude among
luxury buyers in China due to the current government change,
which he forecast would take until "beyond the fourth quarter"
Revenue generated by LVMH's fashion and leather goods
division rose 5 percent in the third quarter against 8 percent
in the second quarter and 12 in the first three months of the