By O. Lotufo
What is LVMH?
LVMH is French company which specializes in Luxury Goods; its abbreviation stands for Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, a conjunction of three different brands. The company was founded back in 1987, and the current CEO and Chairman of LVMH is Bernard Arnault, who has occupied this position since 1989. It is now considered the world’s biggest luxury conglomerate, covering the five main areas of the modern luxury market: Fashion & Leather Goods, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches & Jewellery, Perfumes & Cosmetics and Selective Retailing. All around, LVMH presently owns 75 different brands; the three initial co-owners are present in its name, Louis Vuitton, Moët (& Chandon) and Hennessy. Moreover, other recognizable and significantly well-known brands owned by LVMH include Givenchy, Dom Pérignon, Dior, Céline, Rimowa, Sephora, Tag Heuer, Fendi, Bulgari (Bvlgari), Kenzo and many others.
Net Worth and Revenue
Bernard Arnault, the Chief Executive of LVMH, had a reported net worth of $109 billion in January of 2020; this made him the second richest person in the world, losing only to Jeff Bezos. Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy’s net worth has skyrocketed since its establishment during the 1980’s; in 2019, the LVMH group’s annual report stated that the total revenue was 53.7 billion euros, an increase of approximately 15% from the year before. The sales were spread across the 5 areas, the most predominant sector being Fashion & Leather goods, accounting for 41% of the entire revenue. Additionally, in 2019, Asia (discounting Japan) made up 30% of the company’s entire revenue; next came the United States (24%), all Europe except France (19%), France alone (9%) and Japan alone (7%).
How has LVMH been impacted by COVID-19?
With the Covid-19 pandemic, LVMH has been significantly impacted, much like the entire fashion commerce. Bernard Arnault alone has been greatly affected, his net worth plummeting from $109 B in January of 2020, to $82.9 B in September; this caused Arnault to drop from his second place ranking to sixth regarding the richest people in the world. LVMH has suffered a 17% decline in revenue during the first and second quarters of 2020 in comparison to the same time frame a year before. Moreover, LVMH had declared plans of purchasing Tiffany & Company during November of 2020 for $16.2 Billion; this would be the largest transaction ever made in the luxury department. However, with the company being so heavily impacted by the pandemic, the agreement had been momentarily put aside, consequently resulting in a ‘legal battle’ between LVMH and Tiffany’s. After multiple prosecutions and disagreements, it has still not been decided what will happen and there have not been any clear public proclamations regarding the status of the deal.
With the reopening of stores all around the world, LVMH’s economic situation has slowly seen improvements; however, as we have realised with the outbreak of COVID-19, one cannot be sure of what tomorrow will bring. It will be interesting to see LVMH’s tactics moving forward, and how they will tackle the remaining quarters of 2020.