By Bahle Gama
Louis Vuitton (LVMH’s) market value has surpassed $500 billion, making the company the first in Europe to reach that milestone, courtesy of booming sales of luxury goods in China.
Bloomberg and CNBC reported that demand has held up for LVHM products, handbags, Moet & Chandon Champagne, and Christian Dior gowns, despite surging inflation and rising interest rates which have threatened to tip the world into recession.
LVMH’s achievement comes less than two weeks after the company joined the ranks of the world’s 10 biggest companies, powered by a surge in first-quarter sales.
Meanwhile, rival Hermes International reportedly subsequently published its own strong numbers, reinforcing the view that China’s reopening from pandemic lockdowns is fueling growth across the industry.
LVHM’s rising value has reportedly also swelled Bernard Arnault’s wealth who built the company into a global powerhouse through a series of acquisitions, making him the world’s richest man with a fortune standing at almost $212 billion.
The company is said to have cautioned in April that it was seeing a slowdown in US growth, with demand for cognac and leather goods particularly affected, and some investors fret that the stock inevitably will be hurt should the economic slowdown worsen.
However, paradoxically, concern about a recession is reportedly lifting LVMH’s value in dollar terms. The Euro this month jumped to its highest level in more than a year as the dollar slumped, fueled by increasing market expectations that a worsening US economy will prompt the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year.
On the other hand, analysts have been raising targets on LVMH’s stock amid the steep run higher, as they see room for further gains, “as 30 out of the 36 analysts tracked by Bloomberg have a buy-equivalent rating.”