LVMH’s Fashion Business Returns to Double-Digit Growth. What That Means for the Luxury Goods Sector.

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The luxury-goods sector was one of the first to be severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

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Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton

stock jumped more than 6% early on Friday, as the French luxury conglomerate’s fashion business returned to double-digit growth in the third quarter.

The company said revenue at its fashion and leather goods division rose 12% on the previous year to €5.9 billion, driven by the strong performance of its Louis Vuitton and

Christian Dior


The rapid return of its biggest business to double-digit growth smashed the analyst consensus for a 1% decline, and was welcomed by investors. Group revenue fell 7% to €11.96 billion, however, as performance varied among the company’s units, with jewelry down 14%, cosmetics 16% lower, and wine and spirits falling just 3% amid a strong recovery by Hennessy cognac.

“The encouraging signs of recovery observed in June for several of the group’s activities were confirmed in the third quarter in all regions, most notably in the United States, and in Asia, which once again grew over the period,” LVMH said.

However, the company said economic and health uncertainties remained, and it would continue to exercise caution with cost controls and selective investments.

The update boosted the wider sector, as Gucci owner


rose 3.9%, French peer

Hermès International

climbed 3%, and


moved 3.1% higher.

The luxury-goods sector was one of the first to be severely impacted by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak, due to its exposure to China and other Asian countries where the virus was first prevalent. Global travel restrictions prevented tourists, including Chinese consumers, from visiting fashion hot spots such as London and Paris, typically a key source of revenue for LVMH and others. The sector’s problems only worsened as Covid-19 spread across the world, forcing manufacturing sites and stores in many countries to close for a period of months.

LVMH had a resilient second quarter but still reported first-half profit slumping 84% to €522 million. The third-quarter results provide some hope and encouragement, despite the disparity in performance among its divisions and the looming threat of a second wave, particularly in Europe.

The luxury group has also become embroiled in a legal row with


& Co. over their soured merger deal. The U.S. company filed a lawsuit against LVMH last month after the French conglomerate said it was backing out of its $16 billion acquisition of the jeweler. LVMH then countersued Tiffany, arguing the company has been so badly damaged during the pandemic that the takeover agreement is invalid. LVMH said late on Thursday the trial was scheduled for Jan. 5.

Looking ahead. Bernstein analysts said the French company’s update demonstrated a strong summer for luxury and that the “best in class” luxury brands were already in growth mode year-over-year. They maintained a buy rating on the stock with a target price of €475, up from €429.85 on Friday. “We expect more players to follow this path—most notably Hermès,” they said, adding that high quality names

What Giving Fountain Pens As a Gift Really Means

If you are looking to make an impression through a gift, there is no shortage of options in the shops and department stores that litter every town and city. However, no gift makes an impression more so than one of style, sophistication and reminiscent of the cultured society of the past. While there is a vast variety of unusual gifts for men and women, amongst the most commonly appreciated are writing artifacts, not just because of their design and worth, but because of what they communicate.

The fact is that such items reflect well on both the giver of the gift and the recipient. While modern, ball-point pens are impressive in their own right, with silver, gold and stainless steel finishes, and with some even wrapped in skins as exotic as snake, the pens of yesteryear suggest the kind of polished civility that is missing from the world of today.

Fountain pens, in particular, represent the worldly and the learned. They require a technique in their use that is both skillful and masterly, and are themselves designed to smoothly run across the page. Such a gift suggests that the giver’s impression of the recipient is that of a person of maturity, a learned and solid being of the world. And as far as the recipient is concerned, the person from whom he received such a striking gift has shown care and consideration in their choice, something only those with true taste can display.

Add to that the accessories that can complete a writing set, and the image grows. Such items are ink blotters, writing desks, ink wells and ink sets, quills for the antique effect and portable writing boxes. The list of writing artifacts that can be added to the pen is long, each one with a specific worth beyond the figure written on its tag.

In both cases, there is an array of options that any buyer can peruse before actually making a purchase. Any stationary store will have a wealth of pens for sale at a variety of prices, and while this may be sufficient for most people, a more discerning purchaser will seek out something extra special.

Often, it comes right down to the nib – literally – as pens can come in either ball-point, rollerball and fountain nib designs. Preferences are also decided on the barrel of the pen, which can vary in thickness and shape, or the pen’s weight in the hand, with some of the heavier models preferred for their seamless movement.

When it comes to fountain pens prices can run into thousands of pounds, with caps made of solid sterling silver and nibs that are as intricately engraved as they are engineered. Nibs can be made of 14k sold gold, steel or plated in chrome, and can be broad or fine in width. Barrels come in a variety of metals, carbon fibre and even wood.

Of course, writing boxes add a truly authentic feeling of old-world and the timeless sophistication that it imbues. …

We're Separated And My Spouse Has Stopped Wearing His Wedding Ring. Mine Still Means Something To Me

One of the things that people who don't want to separate with their spouse are trying to avoid are questions that they don't know how to answer. They will often dread people asking them about the state of their marriage or whether or not they are going to get a divorce. They don't know the answers to these questions and they don't really want to think about them too deeply, or even to talk about them.

One symbol that puts these feelings and conflicts into sharp focus is that of wedding rings. Many people believe that you should still wear them. I am one of these people. My opinion on this is that when you are separated, you are still married. And married people wear wedding rings. I believe that there's a reason that the couple are separated and not divorced and should therefore act accordingly.

Not everyone agrees with me though. Some people remove their ring as soon as they declare themselves separated or have moved out. They feel that wearing it isn't being authentic and they don't want to pretend that things are fine when they are not.

This can lead to conflict when the spouses feel very differently on this topic. Someone might explain: "I have no intentions of taking off my wedding ring but my husband has already removed his and it breaks my heart. I worry that this means that he is going to be looking for other women during our separation or that he does not consider himself truly married anymore. I have mentioned these things to him, but he says that I am over reacting. He says that he just doesn't feel like wearing his. I don't understand this. I could never take mine off .I sometimes find him staring at mine, as if he wishes he could ask me to take it off. I don't want to remove it because of what it represents to me. I am still hopeful that we will one day reconcile. And I don't want to invite people to ask me questions about why I am not wearing it. I have no idea how I would answer those questions anyway. Plus, it is no one's business. Is there any rule about whether or not you should wear your ring when separated? "

I don't know of any rules. Most couples just decide on this based on how they feel at the time. I understand why you are upset. You feel that your husband not wanting to wear his ring is very telling in terms of his intentions. You could be right about this, but I would not panic. People's feelings can change over the course of a separation. And, not every one wears their ring all of the time.

To be honest, there are times when I do not wear my ring even though my husband and I have been reconciled for a while. It has nothing to do with my feelings about my marriage. I do …