LVMH sees watch, jewelry profits climb

Michelle Graff

Paris – Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH had success with Bulgari and TAG Heuer’s new smartwatch in 2015, though its CEO acknowledged that global economic “uncertainty” remains.

The company’s watch and jewelry brands, which also include Zenith, Chaumet, Fred and De Beers Diamond Jewellers, recorded an 8 percent increase in sales in organic terms (meaning with comparable structure and exchange rates.)

On a reported basis, sales were up 19 percent.

Bulgari had an “excellent” year, driven in part by the success of its new Diva (jewelry) and Lucea (watches) collections.

TAG Heuer, which is being repositioned under LVMH watch head Jean-Claude Biver, reportedly had “enormous success” with the smartwatch it introduced in November, the Connected.

A month after the watch came out, TAG announced it was pulling it from the Internet because it couldn’t keep up with demand, focusing instead on selling it through brick-and-mortar stores, including its own.

Hublot, meanwhile, recorded “strong growth and opened a second manufacturing facility in Nyon, Switzerland.

While the wholesale side of LVMH’s watch business seemingly is strong, jewelers who sell its watches remain “cautious” in their purchasing, the luxury conglomerate said; in other words, they are not buying as many watches as they once did.

Watches & Jewelry generated the highest year-over-year increase in profit of any of LVMH’s business group.

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Source National Jeweler