* LVMH Q3 sales 9.14 bln vs 8.9 bln forecast
* Fashion and leather growth up 5 pct vs forecast 2 pct
* Says trading significantly improved in China
PARIS, Oct 10 Luxury goods giant LVMH
posted a forecast-beating acceleration in third-quarter sales on
Monday, helped by improved trading in major markets such as
China and resilient demand in the United States.
LVMH, the first European luxury group to release figures for
the three months to Sept. 30, said revenue at constant
currencies rose 6 percent to 9.14 billion euros ($10.24
billion), an improvement on growth of 4 percent in the second
quarter and 3 percent in the first.
Analysts expected third-quarter sales of 8.91 billion euros
based on a mean estimate compiled by ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S, and
like-for-like sales growth of 3-4 percent.
"We think this will be an important trigger for the LVMH
share price ... as LVMH was trailing the sector and investors
were staying out of it as a proxy for the sector itself," said
Luca Solca, luxury goods analyst at Exane BNP Paribas.
Some analysts see LVMH as better positioned to resist the
industry's current downturn than other luxury goods makers such
as Richemont, which has been hammered by a slump in
demand for high-end watches and has had to buy back stock to
keep retailers afloat.
LVMH, which controls more than 70 brands including Louis
Vuitton, Dior and Hennessy cognac, said trading in Europe
remained good "with the exception of France which continues to
feel the impact of a decline in the number of tourists."
The group makes around 10 percent of its total sales in
France and the bulk of them to tourists, who have been staying
away since the end of last year, spooked by attacks by Islamist
Trading at LVMH's fashion and leather division, its biggest
profit and sales contributor, picked up during the period with
sales at constant currencies up 5 percent against a flat
Analysts expected the division's growth to reach around 2
The group said its flagship brand Louis Vuitton, which
launched its first fragrances last month, maintained strong
It also noted that "Fendi generated significant revenue
growth" and that Marc Jacobs continued the repositioning of its
Growth at the group's wines and spirits division slowed to 4
percent at constant currencies, after a bumper second-quarter
rise of 13 percent.
LVMH is holding a conference call with analysts at 1400 GMT
on Tuesday at which it is expected to give more details.
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Bate Felix and Mark