LVMH luxury goods sales rise across all divisions

LVMH shop front
Image caption LVMH is buying the Italian company Bulgari for 3.7bn euros

Demand for luxury goods shows no sign of stalling at LVMH, which has seen a 17% rise in sales in the first three months of 2011.

The owner of Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon champagne reported sales of 5.25bn euros ($7.5bn; £4.6bn) in the quarter, beating analysts' estimates.

The rise came despite expectations that Japan's earthquake could hit sales in what is a key market for LVMH.

LVMH said US and European sales were improving, while Asia remained strong.

"All business groups recorded double-digit organic revenue growth in the quarter," the France-based firm said in a statement.

The wines and spirits, and watches and jewellery divisions, "continued their strong recovery due to a confirmed return in client demand".

In March, LVMH agreed to buy Italian jeweller Bulgari for 3.7bn euros in a deal analysts said suggested LVMH could make a bid for luxury peer Hermes.

LVMH owns more than 20% of Hermes.

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