* 9-month sales 11.95 billion euros, vs forecast 11.92 bln
* Hopes to increase leadership position
(Adds detail, background)
PARIS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - LVMH LVMH.PA, the world's biggest luxury goods group, posted a 0.1 percent fall in nine-month sales and said it hoped to boost its market leadership despite the tough business environment.
Trading improved over the third quarter, with all divisions performing better than during the first half of the year, LVMH said on Monday.
Its sales dipped to 11.95 billion euros ($17.85 billion) in the nine months to end-September. A Reuters poll of nine analysts found an average forecast for 11.92 billion euros.
On an organic basis, taking into account the effect of currency exchange rates, sales fell 6 percent.
Earlier this month, British luxury goods group Burberry BRBY.L also posted better-than-expected sales and said there were signs of better revenue trends. [nLE114807].
“In the current environment still impacted by the crisis in many regions of the world, the group will continue to pursue its proactive strategy of focusing on innovation and targeted investments in key markets,” LVMH said in a statement.
“LVMH will rely on the appeal of its brands and the talent of its teams to, once again in 2009, increase its global leadership position in luxury products,” it said.
LVMH shares closed up 3.4 percent at 74.90 euros. The stock has risen around 57 percent so far this year, recovering from a 42 percent fall last year.
($1 = 0.6694 euro)
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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