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Above Deck

Posted October 15, 2021 at 9:30 am

What’s going on?

Luxury conglomerate LVMH reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings earlier this week, as shoppers emerged, pale and blinking, into the humble lifestyle they once knew.

What does this mean?

There weren’t exactly many benefits to lockdown, but the money plenty of us saved up was certainly one of them. And it looks like fashionistas wasted no time making good use of it last quarter: LVMH’s organic revenue from its fashion and leather goods segment climbed 24% compared to the same time last year. And since the segment contributes almost half of LVMH’s total sales, that helped push overall revenue up by 20%. That means the company has made more money in the first nine months of this year than it did during the same period in a pandemic-free 2019. There was one hiccup, though: LVMH warned that increased shipping costs will hurt its profit going forward.

Why should I care?

For markets: Luxury is back in fashion.

The pandemic took a serious toll on the luxury industry: it’s hard for shoppers to justify a Louis Vuitton handbag when there’s so much uncertainty ahead, after all. These results, then, are an encouraging sign that the industry’s back on track, which might be why investors sent LVMH’s stock up 3%. And given that they look to the conglomerate for clues about other luxury companies, they’re suddenly feeling a lot more confident about Hermès’ and Gucci-owner Kering’s updates later this month. That might be why they sent those companies’ shares up too.

The bigger picture: Equality isn’t the enemy.

Investors were especially keen to know how LVMH has been doing in China: they’ve been worried that the company’s second-biggest market’s efforts toward “common prosperity” might’ve been impacting how the 1% spend their money. But LVMH said that it hasn’t noticed any changes in shoppers’ behavior so far, which might – temporarily, at least – help put investors’ minds at rest.

Originally Posted on October 13, 2021 – Above Deck

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