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LVMH Confident for Second Half After First-Half Profit Gains 2%

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world’s largest luxury-goods maker, reported first-half profit growth that slightly trailed analysts’ estimates and said it’s confident for the second six months of the year.

Profit from recurring operations climbed 2 percent to 2.71 billion euros ($3.6 billion), Paris-based LVMH said today in a statement. Analysts predicted 2.76 billion euros, according to the average estimate compiled by Bloomberg. First-half sales advanced 5.6 percent to 13.7 billion euros, or 8 percent excluding currency shifts and acquisitions.

LVMH, which this month agreed to pay 2 billion euros for 80 percent of Italian cashmere clothier Loro Piana SpA, is raising prices and slowing retail expansion at Louis Vuitton in a bid to keep customers interested in its biggest and most profitable brand. LVMH’s comparable fashion and leather-goods sales advanced 5 percent in the first half, accelerating from a 3 percent gain in the opening quarter, it said.

“It is with confidence that we approach the second half of the year,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault said in the statement.

LVMH was unchanged at 130.40 euros in Paris trading today. The earnings were released after European markets closed.

Hermes International SCA, in which LVMH has a stake, this month reported a 16 percent increase in quarterly revenue, excluding currency swings, as sales of its Kelly handbags and other goods surged in Asia and the Americas.

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