LVMH

Giant French group selling luxury goods. The acronym stands for “Louis Vuitton-MoÍt-Hennessy” and identifies a group associated with high quality products, subdivided into four categories: fashion (Dior, Kenzo, Céline, Lacroix, Vuitton, Givenchy, Loewe, Berluti, and strong holdings in Gucci, and Fendi); wines and champagne (MoÍt Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, Pommery, Mercier, Chateau d’Yquem, and Hennessy); perfumes and cosmetics (Guerlain, and the essences belonging to the various fashion maisons). In 1998 total turnover was 6.9 billion euros. The workforce numbers 33,000 people. The president of the group, holding 31% of the shares, is Bernard Arnault who, in partnership with the Irish company Guinness, has won control of the group, and strengthened it by bringing in Dior, Lacroix, Céline and the healthy remains of the Agaghe Willot textile empire, which he resuscitated in 1980 with a large investment by the French government.
&Quad;1999. Attained a turnover of 10 billion dollars (+23% on 1998) and a net profit of 818 million dollars (+160%).
&Quad;2000, August. The group bought 67% of Pucci. According to the terms of the agreement, the remaining 33% remains in the hands of the Pucci family. Laudomia Pucci di Barsento, daughter of Emilio, remained as president. In the same month, the group acquired the American giant Art&Auction, established in 1979 and dedicated to the world of art.
&Quad;2000, October. LVMH received the award for the best balance sheet of the year. Best not only in terms of results, with growing turnover and profits, but in terms of clarity and readability. The honor was awarded by the French Financial Analysts Association and by the Journal des Finances.
&Quad;2000, November. The group acquired a shareholding of 3.5% in Tod’s, the company belonging to the Della Valle family. This investment is the ideal continuation of the development of the excellent relationship between the two groups. The French giant expanded its empire in the field of distribution with the acquisition of La Samaritaine, one of Paris’s oldest department stores. Cost of the operation: 275 million dollars, of which 180 millions were financed by raising capital. LVMH also decided to join Rossi’s capital stock; Bernard Arnault made the announcement specifying that he had also decided to enlarge his partnership with the prestigious Italian shoe brand by also involving the Givenchy and Emilio Pucci collections.
&Quad;2000. The following acquisitions were made during the year: Miami Cruiseline Services, world leader in luxury duty-free goods on cruise ships; the control of the fourth largest cosmetic company in the United States, Urban Decay; the periodical Connaissance des Arts; Omas, an Italian company that specializes in the production of high quality pens; a majority shareholding of the US cosmetics company Fresh.
&Quad;2000. The year closed with a 35% rise in turnover and the year 2001 opens with an investment for the group in Italy: a global store on three floors in Via Montenapoleone, designed by the American architect Peter Marino.
&Quad;2001, January. The group Arnault and De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer, concluded an equal joint venture for the sale of diamonds and jewelry.
&Quad;2001, April. The operation was finalized through which LVMH acquired the American griffe Donna Karan for a counter value of 243 million dollars. This followed the operation of December 2000, when the luxury giant bought out Gabrielle Studio, the company which owned the Donna brand.
&Quad;2001, May. The general assembly of the Fendi group approved the balance sheet for the year 2000, which registered proceedings for 332 million dollars, double 1999. Such growth was made possible by the company’s reorganization by Prada-LVMH, which now controls 51% of the griffe.
&Quad;2001, October. LVMH acquired 45% of Rossimoda, an Italian company that specializes in shows for the high segment of the market.
&Quad;2001, November. The acquisition campaign of the French group continued. Now it was the turn of Casor (67% of its capital), a former producer of clothing collections branded Emilio Pucci.
&Quad;2001, November. The Group LVMH and Prada concluded an agreement with the intent, on the French side, to acquire all the shares in Fendi held by Prada, i.e., 25.5% of the total. After the operation, the luxury giant owned 51% of Fendi, while the Roman maison retained 49%. The line Fendissime, created in 1987 for a young market, was withdrawn from the market. Fendi has 83 privately owned stores. LVMH also acquired the Italian company Acqua di Parma.
&Quad;2001, December. LVMH sold its Gucci shares to Crédit Lyonnais (11,565,648 shares with a value of 1.15 billion euros). The war between Arnault’s group and PPR (the Franµois Pinault group) was over for the possession of Gucci.
&Quad;2001. The year closed with a turnover of 12.2 billion euros (+6% on 2000) and a massive decline in net profit, only 10 million euros against the 722 millions of 2000. The reason for this decline was the distribution department, which represented losses of 194 million euros. In 2002 Arnault was to focus on internal growth, profitability and cash flow. This program included the development of Fendi and Donna Karan, two griffes controlled since the end of 2001, which the group considered rich in potential.
&Quad;2002, March. Acquisition of 20% of Corrado Maretto, the former licensee of Louis Vuitton shoes and specialized in women’s shoes for the high segment of the market. 80% of the company remained under the control of the Maretto family.
&Quad;2002, April. Christian Lacroix was appointed the new artistic director of the Italian griffe Emilio Pucci.
&Quad;2002, May. Kenzo Takada returned to LVMH and the group acquired a minority shareholding, 17%, of Kenzo Takada Inc.
&Quad;2002, October. Louis Vuitton aims for the conquest of Paris. The maison built an unprecedented commercial empire in the heart of Paris. LVMH purchased the department stores next to La Samaritaine in Rue de Rivoli, and planned to convert them into shops to sell its luxury products.
&Quad;2002, November. Début in Piazza Strozzi, Florence, of the first Fendi boutique. The Roman maison has 84 direct sales points and 450 indirect.
&Quad;2002. LVMH closed the year with a consolidated turnover of 12.7 billion euros (+4% on 2001), an operating profit of 2 billion euros and a net profit of 556 millions. The secret of this success consisted in focusing on the most profitable brands or on those with a higher potential. Particularly positive were the performances of Wines & Spirits (+2%), Fashion & Leather (+16%), Perfumes & Cosmetics (+5%); negative the Retailing Division (-4%). Growth in all reference markets was good, in particular in Japan (+15%), thanks to the new 10-floor megastore opened in Tokyo. And Christian Dior did wonders, with a turnover of 492 million euros, which represented a growth of 41% and an operating profit of 33 million euros: this performance was due to the success of the collections designed by John Galliano. Louis Vuitton registered a growth in sales in Europe and the United States.
&Quad;2003, April. Louis Vuitton opened its first boutiques in Moscow and New Delhi. With these new openings, Louis Vuitton now has 298 stores, and a presence in 51 countries. The Asiatic market, Japan not included, represents 15% of the 4.12 billion euros turnover of LVMH’s fashion and leather goods business: this was a growth of 1% on the previous year.
&Quad;2003, April. The group acquired almost total control (97%) of Rossi Moda. The company, leader of the Veneto shoe district, produces and distributes several brands, among which Givenchy, Pucci, Lacroix, and Jacobs.
&Quad;2003, May. The shareholding in Fendi was increased to 84.1% after the acquisition of the quotas belonging to Alda, Anna and Paola Fendi. Silvia Venturini Fendi maintained the role of Creative Director.
&Quad;2003. LVMH sold 36% of the brand Michael Kors for 13.9 million euros.
&Quad;2003, May. Pucci designed the first technical shoe for the Vivara line. It was to be produced by Sabelt and distributed by Rossi Moda. The collection was inspired by a famous printed pattern found in the archives of the Florentine maison.
&Quad;2003, June. The license rights for the perfumes Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole were sold.
&Quad;2003, August. Acqua di Parma, after the OK from the Anti-Trust, is entirely controlled by the French group, which had already owned 50% of the capital since September 2001.
&Quad;2003, September. Fendi opened a boutique in Tokyo on two floors. In Japan Fendi had 38 own-brand boutiques and 96 around the world.
&Quad;2003, September. Antonio Marras, a Sardinian designer, was made Kenzo’s new artistic director.
&Quad;2003, September. Emilio Pucci opened a new store in London. The sales point was designed by the architects Vudafieri Partners & Deux L.
&Quad;2003, October. The group sold the champagne brand Canard-Duchene.
&Quad;2003, December. Concetta Lanciaux, Bernard Arnault’s right arm, presented the group’s strategies. “We are in the luxury business, rather than in the fashion business, with strong brands such as Dom Pérignon, Hennessy, MoÍt & Chandon, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and smaller but strongly developing brands such as Kenzo, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs, and brands which are to be relaunched such as Donna Karan and Fendi. What we want is to make these brands managerially independent.”
&Quad;2003, December. Ozwald Boateng was made the new creative director of Givenchy’s men’s collections.
&Quad;2004, January. In the controversy with Morgan Stanley, which had been accused of issuing negative ratings on the LVMH group, the court decided in favor of the French group. The investment bank was condemned to pay 30 million euros damages.
&Quad;2004, February. Morgan Stanley appealed against the verdict.
&Quad;2004, March. Opening of the first Pucci boutique in Venice.
&Quad;2004, April. Roberto Menichetti was made the new creative director of Céline womenswear, replacing Michael Kors. Céline’s president, Jean-Marc Loubier, stated that “it may seem a paradox, but this is a meeting between a brand and a personality. Roberto is a world citizen, and Céline’s identity is that of a sophisticated, delicate Parisian woman at her ease everywhere, in New York as well as in Shanghai.” Céline closed 2003 with double-digit growth in its turnover. It had about 100 own-brand boutiques.
&Quad;2004, June. Veuve Clicquot and Emilio Pucci “marry.”
&Quad;2004, July. Dior opened a shop in Rue Royale, Paris. It’s the company’s fifth boutique in the French capital and the 168th worldwide.
&Quad;2004, July. A second Pucci boutique was opened in New York.
&Quad;2004, July. Louis Vuitton opened a new boutique in Sloane Street, London.
&Quad;2004. Emilio Pucci signed an agreement with Wolford to launch an exclusive line of tights and leotards.
&Quad;2004. Since the Pucci brand was bought by the French group, turnover has increased by 400%.
&Quad;2004. Raphaele Canot was appointed the new artistic director of De Beers.
&Quad;2004. Nicholas Knightly appointed to direct the design team for Louis Vuitton leather goods.
&Quad;2004, October. Dior opened a megastore in Tokyo, built on seven floors: five for sales, two to the Dior Museum. It is the largest store in the Far East.
&Quad;2004, December. Two famous brands, Emilio Pucci and Rossignol, signed a five-year license agreement for the production of ski clothing, technical knitwear, and accessories, presented in two annual collections — Summer and Winter.
&Quad;2004, December. Excellent economic-financial results for the group. The total turnover, 12.62 billion euros, grew 6% (+11% at equal exchange rates and area). The operating profit, 2.42 billions, represented an increase of 11%. The group’s net profit for the first time exceeds 1 billion euros, 1.01 billion, registering a sensational growth of 40%. Finally, debts had been reduced from 5 to 4.6 billions. The leading division was Wines & Spirits (+8%), followed by Fashion & Leather (+5%). A decline of 1% was represented by perfumes, watches and jewelry. In particular, the brand Louis Vuitton registered a record year. The other brands, Céline, Marc Jacobs, Pucci and Berluti continue to grow, especially in Asia. Fendi and Donna Karan, on the other hand, still suffered difficulties.
&Quad;2004, December. The Christian Dior group had a turnover of 13.2 billion euros, a growth of 6% on 2003. Net profit, at 464 millions, also enjoyed strong growth at +53%.
&Quad;2005, January. Christian Lacroix was sold to the American group Falic.
&Quad;2005, March. Riccardo Tisci was appointed the new designer for Givenchy. He is the third Italian designer working for LVMH, with Antonio Marras, at Kenzo, and Roberto Menichetti, at Céline.
&Quad;2005, March. Carole Kerner returned to the leadership of Donna Karan New York.
&Quad;2005, March. Partnership with the Spanish group El Corte Ingles, to develop the controlled company Sephora.
&Quad;2005, March. LVMH created an ad hoc division, New Perfumes, guided by Laurent Houel, whose purpose is to group the fragrances and give life to two new lines: Fendi and Pucci. The Rome label’s perfume was being produced by LVMH’s biggest competitor, PPR, through a license contract due in July. Pucci, on the contrary, made its début in the world of perfumes.
&Quad;2005, March. In the first quarter of 2005, turnover was 3 billion euros at constant exchange rates, representing an increase of 11%. In particular, the division Wines & Spirits grew 13%, and Watches & Jewelry 21%.
&Quad;2005, April. The controversy with Morgan Stanley continued. The French group asked 183 million euros extra for moral damages from the American investment bank.
&Quad;2005, May. After only two seasons the collaboration with Menichetti came to an end. The divorce was consensual and the Umbrian designer decided to devote himself to his own collection.
&Quad;2005, June. The controversy ended over use of the name Kenzo between the designer himself and LVMH, the brand’s owner for 12 years. Before the official decision of the court, the parties reached an agreement in which “the terms are to be maintained confidential.”
&Quad;2005, June. Bernard Arnault, owner and president of LVMH, with assets of 14.3 billion euros, is the richest man of France.

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