Bernard Arnault, head of the world’s No. 1 luxury group LVMH insists that they are best positioned to ensure the long-term survival of Hermes. Seeking to soothe the ruffled feathers of Hermes Chief Executive Patrick Thomas who is furious that LVMH has quietly acquired a 20% stake in Hermes, Arnault said:
“We can bring them (Hermes) a number of advantages both strategically and operationally without anything in return other than our presence as a shareholder,” Arnault said at the group’s annual results presentation. via Reuters
LVMH’s profits rose 73% to $4.13 billion last year, much of it driven by its acquisition of the Hermes shares. Still, the company’s profit from recurring operations rose an amazing 29% across its brands that include Louis Vuitton and Fendi in fashion, Moët Chandon champagne and TAG Heuer watches. via WSJ
LVMH is well positioned in China, India and Brazil which lifted sales increases of 12% and 14% in Europe and the US.
On Feb. 11, WWD reported that LVMH picked up two niche beauty brands Ole Henriksen and Nude skin care.
The LVMH investment of a 70 percent stake in Nude, described as “biocompatible luxury skin care” furthers the alliance between LVMH and Ali Hewson, wife of U2 front man Bono, and Bono himself.
Ali Hewson’s partner in Nude — a spectacular brand name in the evolution of New Eroticism products for the Smart Sensuality consumer — is Bryan Meehan. The founders will retain a 30% stake in the company.
Skin care is currently 41% of natural personal care sales in this exploding category. Ole Henriksen is also a luxury botanical brand.
Hewson, Bono and LVMH also own the eco-friendly ready-to-wear line Edun.
Images used in this article are Nick Knight’s Spring 2011 ad campaign for Hermès featuring Jacquelyn Jablonski.
Hrmes images via Fashion Editorials