Asia Sales Help LVMH Limit Covid Damage

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LVMH, the world's biggest luxury company, said Tuesday that a strong pickup in Asian sales and robust online business helped contain the damage from Covid-19 in its 2020 results.

The outlook remained uncertain because of the global health crisis, but LVMH said it still entered 2021 with "cautious confidence" that it will be able to build on a strong fourth-quarter rebound.

Headline sales came in at 44.6 billion euros ($54.2 billion), a drop of 17 percent, and just a touch weaker than the 44.7 billion predicted by Factset, a financial data provider.

Net profit meanwhile fell by 34 percent to 4.7 billion euros.

Things have been looking up again at LVMH since the fourth quarter Things have been looking up again at LVMH since the fourth quarter  AFP / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

"LVMH showed good resilience in 2020 in an economic environment severely disrupted by the serious health crisis that led to the suspension of international travel and the closure of the group's stores and manufacturing sites in most countries over a period of several months," a company statement said.

But in the fourth quarter, LVMH recorded a strong improvement in trends in all its activities.

"While Europe is still affected by the crisis, the United States saw a good recovery and Asia grew strongly," it said.

This year, LVMH will for the first time consolidate the earnings of US jeweller Tiffany which it took over after months of drama.

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