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French luxury goods group LVMH posts 6.0% rise in Q1 sales

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The French luxury goods group LVMH, which owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Guerlain, on Monday posted first-quarter sales of 6.95 billion euros ($9.09 billion), a rise of 6.0 percent from the previous three-month period that underscored weaker growth in the sector.

The result was nonetheless slightly better than an average analyst forecast compiled by Dow Jones Newswires, which had anticipated an increase of 5.2 percent to 6.92 billion euros.

LVMH said its sales had been undermined by an increase in the value of the euro against other major currencies.

Its main product lines, fashion and leather goods, posted 2.38 billion euros in sales, a very slight rise of 0.4 percent.

The wine and spirits division, which includes Moet & Chandon Champagne, reported a 6.0 percent increase, meanwhile.

Looking ahead, The group said it plans to invest more in product quality and innovation.

"LVMH will continue to focus its efforts on developing its brands, will maintain a strict control over costs and will target its investments on the quality, the excellence and the innovation of its products and their distribution," a statement said.

The luxury goods sector is concerned that a slowdown in China will hurt business that has been boosted by consumption in the world's second biggest economy.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130415/french-luxury-goods-group-lvmh-posts-60-rise-q1-sales