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Vuitton handbags power LVMH sales, fourth quarter in line with forecasts

Vuitton handbags power LVMH sales, fourth quarter in line with forecasts
FILE PHOTO - A Louis Vuitton logo, part of LVMH luxury group, is pictured in a shop window in Geneva, Switzerland, November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse   -   Copyright  Denis Balibouse(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – Louis Vuitton parent LVMH on Tuesday posted a 9 percent rise in fourth-quarter comparable sales, in line with forecasts and fuelled by a strong performance in its handbag division in spite of mounting concerns over a slowdown in China.

Investors are nervously watching the luxury goods sector for signs of slowing demand from Chinese shoppers, their biggest clientele, as the Sino-U.S. trade war hits the yuan and consumer and business confidence sours in China.

LVMH, the industry’s biggest player and home to fashion brands like Givenchy and champagne label Moet & Chandon, said revenues reached 13.7 billion euros (11.9 billion pounds) in the October to December period. Analysts polled by Infront Data for Reuters had expected comparable sales to rise 8.9 percent.

LVMH said its operating income rose 21 percent in 2018 as a whole, hitting a record 10 billion euros.

(Reporting by Sarah White and Dominique Vidalon)

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