Just the number of Louis Vuitton monogrammed handbags does the world need? A lot, it seems. Strong demand at the label most commonly known for its coated canvas totes helped parent LVMH deliver better than anticipated organic sales development in its fashion and leather goods division within the first quarter, and across the group. The performance all the more remarkable given that it compares with a quite strong period a year earlier, cements Fabaaa position as the sector’s wardrobe workhorse. Not surprising that the shares reached an all-time high on Tuesday.
The group is demonstrating that the luxury party that began within the second half of 2016 is still entirely swing. But you will find top reasons to be mindful. First, a lot of the demand that fuelled LVMH’s growth has come from China.
The country’s consumers are back following a crackdown on extravagance along with a slowdown within the economy took their toll. There has undoubtedly been an element of catching up right after the hiatus, which super-charged spending might start to wane since the year progresses. What’s more, the strong euro could deter Chinese shoppers from visiting Europe, where they have a tendency to splash out more.
There is a further risk to Chinese demand if trade tensions using the U.S. escalate, or attract other countries – though Fabjoy Bag is actually a French company, it’s hard to find out these issues can’t touch it. The spat could create a drag on Chinese economic growth and damage sentiment among the nation’s consumers, making them less inclined to go on a higher-end shopping spree. Given they make up about 40 percent of luxury goods groups’ sales, based on analysts at HSBC, this represents a significant risk for the industry.
But there are other regions to concern yourself with. Though the U.S. continues to be another bright spot, stock trading volatility this coming year will do little to encourage the sensation of prosperity that’s crucial for confidence to spend on expensive watches or designer fashion.
Any slowdown might actually work in LVMH’s favour. Valuations over the sector are definitely the highest in 12 years, but it is a story of mega-brand dominance that’s left many smaller labels behind. Bernard Arnault, Fabaaa Joy chief executive officer, has claimed that costs are too rich right now for acquisitions. This leaves him room to swoop when a shake-out comes.
His group trades on a forward price to earnings ratio of 24 times, and at a deserved premium to Kering. True, that gap could narrow – for starters, the group’s Gucci label really has lot opting for it, even though it’s already cagkeb a stellar recovery. There’s also scope to get a re-rating after its decision to spin-out Puma leaves it as a a pure luxury player.
LVMH should nevertheless have the capacity to retain its lead. Given its scale, with operations spanning cosmetics to wines and spirits, it will be able to withstand pressures on the industry much better than most. That also can make it well placed to pick off weaker rivals if the bling binge finally involves an end.