Bernard Arnault

Chairman's message

2014-10-31 05:37 PM
LVMH SHARE: 135.35 € +2.00%

A PASSIONATE PATH AHEAD

In 2013, LVMH’s revenue rose once again, with profit from recurring operations topping 6 billion euros for the first time. In a buoyant, competitive and rapidly changing market, our Group continues to succeed by combining long-term vision with agility, tradition with innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit with our role as corporate citizen.

Our Group has had an excellent year, demonstrating that it can continue to move forward in a climate characterized by economic and monetary uncertainty. While sticking firmly to our long-term strategy, we are adapting our decisions and actions to the ever faster changes in our market environment. We can count on the power of our brands, their alliance of quality, tradition and innovation, the responsiveness of a highly action-oriented organization, and the ambition shared by our talented teams for perfect strategy execution. In a competitive environment for all our business lines, these key strengths will maintain our competitive edge.

 

A DYNAMIC YEAR FOR ALL OUR BUSINESS GROUPS

We have made many, solid achievements. Our Wines and Spirits brands continue to grow while strengthening their image and reputation for excellence. Louis Vuitton is reinventing its icons and upgrading its stores. Its unique savoir-faire and exceptional creative resources come to the fore in its collections. New icons are emerging. Nicolas Ghesquière, appointed Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton’s women’s collections, is one of the most talented designers. He shares Louis Vuitton’s vision and values, and brings a great sense of enthusiasm to the task of working with our teams to build its future. Our Perfumes and Cosmetics brands have been strengthening their research facilities and increasing market share with an unwavering commitment to excellence. Bulgari’s integration within the Watches and Jewelry business group has been a success. Our Selective Retailing businesses are exceptionally dynamic, combining an avant-garde mindset with innovative services, while consistently striving to offer a unique customer experience. As we strengthen our position in traditional markets, we continue to expand our reach into new territories. The wineries that Moët Hennessy created recently in India and China are starting commercial operations. In South America, Southeast Asia and Africa, new countries are opening up to our products and the lifestyle they represent.

GROWTH DRIVERS, SELECTIVE INVESTMENTS

The market for luxury products has a bright future, and a passionate path lies ahead of us. We are confident in our growth model as we focus our efforts on three key long-term objectives: perpetuating the success of our flagship brands, nurturing other brands that have the potential to follow in their footsteps, and seizing growth opportunities when alliances based on common values can be conducted. A year rich in landmark projects and achievements, 2013 is but a prelude to further important developments. Several of our high-potential brands have met with evident success. They have been developed over time and now represent a second wave of growth. This is true of Céline, Fresh, Benefit… and Marc Jacobs, which has really evolved since it joined the Group. After sixteen fantastic years as Creative Director for Louis Vuitton, co-founder Marc Jacobs is now planning to dedicate himself entirely to the future of his eponymous brand. This is a wonderful opportunity for this highly creative company with enormous potential ahead of it. The same goes for Berluti, which is booming in the men’s fashion market. This legendary brand remains faithful to its inherited traditions of premium quality shoemaking, even as it seeks to grow creatively and gradually roll out a new store concept.

LORO PIANA, AN EXCEPTIONAL UNIVERSE

The arrival of Loro Piana within the Group is a major event. This rapidly growing family business has its own unique savoir-faire in selecting the most beautiful natural textile fibers, developing fabrics and creating clothing of superlative quality. I am proud that Loro Piana, which symbolizes an exceptional universe for the most demanding international clientele, has chosen to join forces with our Group. Mr. Sergio Loro Piana, one of the leaders who forged this successful enterprise, sadly passed away not long ago. We feel his absence sharply, and our pride is tinged with sorrow. Such sorrow, however, only increases our determination to do everything we can, alongside his brother Pier Luigi Loro Piana and his teams, to carry on the adventure of this beautiful brand, as it has always been: the epitome of excellence.

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT, THE DRIVE TO SURPASS OURSELVES

Despite some signs of improvement, we enter 2014 in a still uncertain economic environment that leads us to remain extremely vigilant and selective in allocating our resources. Nevertheless, thanks to the strength of LVMH and its flagship brands, we retain a clear-headed commitment to our objectives. All the efforts I mentioned above are focused on long-term value. I am confident in our teams’ ability to meet challenges and seize the many opportunities for growth as they arise. Aside from an entrepreneurial spirit, one of the core values of LVMH is the drive to surpass ourselves. Excellence is never a foregone conclusion, and complacency is not part of our culture. I believe that our success derives from the fact that each of us, whatever our job, never stops striving to be better and to offer new ideas that will boost the quality of what our Group does.

A WORLD OF EMOTIONS, A SPECIAL CONNECTION WITH OUR CUSTOMERS

That quality is what determines customers’ loyalty to our brands, above and beyond specific products or stores. The success of the Journées Particulières event, during which our brands opened their legendary workshops to the public, shows the huge interest in our heritage, savoir-faire and traditional craftsmanship. We live in a world of emotions, where the Group’s relations with our customers and our shareholders are profound. Because of this special connection, we are also committed to stronger corporate citizenship. We strive to pass on our expertise, to promote diversity and fulfillment among our employees, to coach talent and support young designers, and to protect the sometimes very scarce natural resources used in our products. The world is more and more concerned with such issues, and so are we, for they form the foundation of our Group’s future. Together with developing our business, they must serve as a permanent wellspring of creativity. I am particularly pleased to announce the opening later this year of the Louis Vuitton Foundation. We have worked with the architect to make this an exceptional venue and a testament to our patronage of art, through which we intend to help promote French and Parisian culture worldwide. Here too, a passionate path lies ahead of us.

 

Bernard Arnault
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

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