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LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported a sharp slowdown in watch and jewellery sales in the first half of the year, owing to widespread store closures and international travel disruptions.
The group said its watch and jewellery business saw a 39 per cent dip in revenues from January to June, noting that the global health crisis put pressure on all its brands, with the US, Japan and Europe as the most heavily affected areas.
LVMH-owned Bulgari however capitalised on China’s recovery in the second quarter and introduced the Barocko fine jewellery line through an augmented-reality experience, according to the luxury conglomerate.
The brand also expanded its B.Zero1 “Rock” collection to add rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings.
Chaumet meanwhile reopened its Place Vendôme location after a year of renovations. It also regained momentum in China, thanks to the launch of a WeChat retail site.
LVMH's watch brands TAG Heuer and Hublot suffered from a decline in retail orders despite a promising start to the year. New products however managed to attract the market's attention such as the TAG Heuer smartwatch while design-oriented pieces like the Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon and Octo Répétition Minutes continued to spark buyer interest.
“The watch and jewellery brands will receive highly targeted investments, with a special emphasis on digital, and will continue their programmes focused on distribution quality and productivity,” revealed LVMH.
LVMH’s overall revenues in the first half of 2020 fell by 27 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, cited the group’s “exceptional resilience” to the global health crisis in the first half of 2020. While LVMH remains vigilant for the rest of the year despite signs of market activity, Arnault is also banking on a strong recovery in the second half of 2020.