LVMH and Zale See Earnings Increase

March 12, 2001

LVMH and Zale See Earnings Increase

Luxury products group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported last week its net income from current group operations increased 15% and its operating income increased 27% in 2000. Sales for the group in 2000 increased 35%, and sales in the first two months of 2001 increased 13% compared to the same period in 2000.

LVMH says it has seen strong growth and increased market share in all areas of activity, including its new watch and jewelry division. The watch and jewelry business group exceeded its targets in 2000 and made its first significant contribution to LVMH's operating income. The company says the TAG Heuer line has confirmed its potential through strong top-range sports positioning and the success of its latest products. Chaumet has shown good growth as well, especially in Japan. In addition, the company says Ebel and Zenith have established a new brand strategy and improved organization.

Zale Corp. announced last week its net income for its second quarter ended Jan. 31 reached $71.5 million. Net income for the quarter was decreased by a non-recurring charge of $25.2 million to adjust the valuation of the company's inventory. Excluding the charge, net income for the quarter was $87 million, and net income for the same quarter in 2000 was $83.9 million.

For the six months ended Jan. 31, Zale reported a net income of $75.6 million, which was reduced by the non-recurring charge and another unusual charge relating to the retirement of the former chairman of the board. Excluding the two charges, the net income for the six months was $92.7 million, and net income for the same period the previous year was $89.4 million.

- by Julia M. Duncan