It’s a good time to be rich, and an even better time to cater to them.
Bernard Arnault, the chairman and chief executive of luxury-goods giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
briefly topped departing Amazon
Chief Executive Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person, according to Forbes’ real-time tracker.
By early Tuesday morning, Bezos was back on top with a net worth of $188.2 billion, compared with Arnault and family at $187.5 billion. Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric-car maker Tesla
was in third, at $152.5 billion.
That Arnault was on top was a reflection of LVMH’s share price surge, as well as the struggles of technology stocks in 2021 after a sensational 2020. LVMH shares have gained 25% this year, compared with a 0.4% drop for online retailer Amazon and a 14% drop for Tesla.
LVMH recorded a 32% surge in revenue during the first quarter, driven by its fashion and leather-goods segment. Asia outside of Japan — China, mostly — saw organic revenue growth of 86% in the first quarter, and sales in Asia even lapped the first quarter of 2019 by 26%. U.S. organic sales growth was also strong, at 23% in the first quarter.
LVMH doesn’t provide earnings information during the first and third quarters.
In January, LVMH completed the acquisition of U.S. luxury-goods retailer Tiffany & Co. “It’s an iconic house, iconic of America,” said Arnault during the company’s April shareholder meeting.
“It’s synonymous of love. And the famous blue box is recognized throughout the world. I’m sure we’ll be able to disseminate it even more widely with the determination and passion that we have deployed over the years for each of our prestigious houses,” he added.