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LVMH becomes Europe's most valuable company at $500 billion

 LVMH head Bernard Arnault presents the group's annual results 2022 in Paris on January 26, 2023.
LVMH head Bernard Arnault presents the group's annual results 2022 in Paris on January 26, 2023. Copyright STEFANO RELLANDINI/AFP or licensors
Copyright STEFANO RELLANDINI/AFP or licensors
By Jonny Walfisz with AFP
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French company LVMH, owned by the world's richest man, is Europe's first company to break the $500 billion (€455 billion) barrier.

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LVMH, the French luxury company made up of fashion brand Louis Vuitton and drinks companies Moët and Hennessy, is the first European company with a market value above $500 billion (around €455 billion).

The Paris Stock Exchange closed on Monday night with LVMH stocks up 0.1 per cent to a value of €902. It was the end of a day in which the Paris stock exchange broke records with an all-time highest value of 7,581.25 points.

The success of LVMH, which owns 75 luxury brands including Tiffany & Co., Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, TAG Heuer, and Bulgari, is due to a growing demand from the wealthiest parts of society.

LVMH alongside Hermès and L'Oréal represent a third of the CAC 40 - the top 40 most significant stocks in the French stock exchange. These companies “have become safe havens for the markets and this capitalisation of LVMH surprises few,” notes Ilana Azuelos-Bossard, deputy director at Kiplink Finance.

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The Louis Vuitton flagship store in New York CityCanva

Earlier this month, LVMH became one of the top-10 best-valued companies in the world. It’s clearly a very good time for the top end of French luxury retail. Among the top three French companies, Hermès is the fastest growing. They’ve seen a 23 per cent increase in sales in Q1 this year.

LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault worked alongside Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy’s CEOs to form the current company in 1987. As the founder and chairman of LVMH, Arnault is the current richest person in the world.

In his early seventies, Arnault’s position has led to multiple questions of potential successors. All five of Arnault's children hold senior positions in LVMH and its brands.

Antoine, 45, is vice-chairman and former CEO of Christian Dior; Alexandre, 30, is an executive vice president at Tiffany & Co.; Frédéric, 28, serves as the CEO of Tag Heuer; and the youngest of the five siblings, Jean, 24, is the director of watches development and marketing at Louis Vuitton.

ERIC PIERMONT/AFP or licensors
Delphine and Bernard Arnault pose togetherERIC PIERMONT/AFP or licensors

But it is eldest daughter Delphine, 48, who Arnault recently named CEO of Christian Dior who seems tipped as the ultimate successor.

The significance of LVMH as a global player can’t be overstated. They are likely to be a major sponsor at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics, although the competition hasn’t officially announced a sponsorship deal with any fashion house yet.

On a more individual level, LVMH has coupled up with major stars like BTS singer J-Hope as ambassadors, alongside four new young ambassadors in a drive to ethically repurpose spare fabrics left over from their products.

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