LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said first-half revenue for its Wines & Spirits units eased 4%. On an organic basis, Wines & Spirits revenue was down 3%. Profit from recurring Wines & Spirits operations was down 9%.
It was a good half-year for the Champagne business, which recorded an increase in revenue over the half year, driven by its value-based strategy. On the other hand, Hennessy cognac was impacted by the economic environment in the U.S. and by the continued high stock level of its retailers. Among Provence rosé wines, LVMH acquired the prestigious, world leading domain Minuty, and Château d’Esclans stepped up its international expansion. The Joseph Phelps Vineyard, one of the most renowned wine properties in Napa Valley, Calif., was included in the first half accounts for the first time. Glenmorangie whisky and Belvedere vodka continued to show strong momentum in innovation, the company said.
Wines and spirits was the only LVMH unit to record declines, and Seeking Alpha noted that Champagne, wine and spirits sales all declined in the U.S. That led shares of LVMH to tumble 3.6% after reporting weak organic revenue of 1% in the U.S. while Japan rose 29%, Asia ex-Japan soard 34% and Europe advanced 19%.
Except for Wines & Spirits, all business groups achieved double-digit organic revenue growth over the half year.
The disappointing Wines & Spirits results "was largely impacted by the United States's economic environment and high inventory at the start of the year," the company said.LVMH's chief financial officer said "aspirational customers are not shopping as much as they used to." CFO Jean-Jacques Guiony said aspirational customers were no longers spending on entry-level products, and suggested fading stimulus payments after Covid may have contributed.