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LVMH watch boss not ruling out acquisitions -paper
March 12, 2010 / 3:33 PM / 8 years ago

LVMH watch boss not ruling out acquisitions -paper

* LVMH watch, jewellery head not ruling out acquisitions

* Pascal says ready to recapture profitable growth

ZURICH, March 12 (Reuters) - LVMH (LVMH.PA) is not ruling out acquisitions in the watch sector and is confident of returning to profitable growth, the head of the French luxury group’s watch and jewellery unit told a Swiss magazine.

“With Hublot, we showed that we can undertake purchases if the financial terms are reasonable and the brand has potential for development,” Philippe Pascal told the magazine Bilanz in an interview published on Friday.

But he said the focus for now would be on organic growth.

Asked whether he might be interested in buying Italian jeweller Bulgari BULG.MI, Pascal replied: “No comment. We’ll look at interesting offers, but Bulgari is not relevant now.”

The watch industry is slowly emerging from its worst crisis in two decades, helped by strong growth in Asia.

“We -- especially for the watches division -- are optimistic that we can recapture profitable growth and gain market share,” Pascal said.

“But it would be presumptuous, even irresponsible, to give figures.”

LVMH watch and jewellery sales fell 19 percent on a like-for-like basis in 2009. (Additional reporting by Astrid Wendlandt in Paris, editing by Will Waterman)

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