LVMH, the French luxury goods group behind Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon champagne, has become the first European company to hit a $500bn market value, thanks to booming demand among the rich for its high-end brands.
The Guardian reports that shares in LVMH closed up 90 euro cents (0.1%) to €902.00 ($993.94) on April 24, giving the company – whose roster includes Christian Dior, Stella McCartney, TAG Heuer watches and Bulgari and Tiffany jewelry – a market capitalization of €454bn, or half a trillion dollars.
LVMH shares have soared by 30% so far this year propelling it into the top 10 of the world’s most valuable listed companies.
The new valuation puts the stake held by its chair and chief executive, Bernard Arnault, at $212bn – cementing his position as the world’s richest person, $47bn ahead of Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, in second place.
Earlier this month LVMH reported a 17% increase in first quarter sales, more than double analyst expectations.
Last year it achieved record sales of €79.2bn and has begun a €1.5bn share buyback program.
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