The world’s richest man Bernard Arnault has received a boost after his luxury goods company LVMH reported a 17% rise in global sales.
The group, which owns brands including Moët, Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, recorded revenue of €21bn (£18.5bn) in the first quarter of 2023.
LVMH hailed its “excellent” start to the year as it came despite ongoing global economic uncertainty amid the Ukraine war and concerns over inflation.
It said a “significant rebound” in sales in Asia had been a major factor, following the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, particularly in China.
Elsewhere, the company reported “strong” growth in Europe and Japan, but described its performance in the United States as “steady”.
The total revenue marks a 17% rise on the same period last year.
It comes just months after Mr Arnault, who is the majority shareholder, chairman and CEO of LVMH, overtook Twitter and Tesla boss Elon Musk to become the world’s richest man.
Forbes estimated earlier this month that the 74-year-old Frenchman’s personal fortune stood at $211bn (£168bn) thanks to LVMH’s success.
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Latest results show the company’s sales of fashion and leather goods grew by 18% in the quarter, while its perfumes and cosmetics business – and its watches and jewellery group – were both up 11%.
A LVMH spokesperson said that executives were cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.
“In an uncertain geopolitical and economic context, LVMH remains both vigilant and confident at the start of the year,” they said.
“The group will continue to pursue its strategy focused on the development of its brands, driven by a sustained policy of innovation and investment as well as by a constant quest for quality in its products, their desirability and their distribution.”
In January, the luxury goods company recorded total revenue of €79.2bn (£69.7bn) in 2022 and profit of €21.1bn (£18.6bn), both up 23% on 2021’s figures and a new record for the group.
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