Drinks and luxury goods group, LVMH, reported sales of €5,823m for the first half of the 2002 fiscal year, up 2% from the first half of 2001. The company said that the turnover increase based on constant exchange rates was 4%.

LVMH also stated that the performance was being compared with a particularly strong first half in 2001 and was achieved in a "less favourable economic environment". The company also reported that it had achieved increases in market share in the first six months of 2002.

Sales at LVMH's wines and spirits division, which includes the Hennessy Cognac and Moet & Chandon Champagne brands as well as numerous other high quality wines and spirits brands, rose by 7% from €855m to €916m in the first six months of 2002.

In accordance with the French system of financial reporting, the company has only published its sales figures but said it was anticipating operating profit growth of around 15% for the first half, with the performance being driven particularly by "excellent performances" from its wines and spirits division and Louis Vuitton.

"All of our major brands achieved sales growth at constant exchange rates in the first half, despite the ongoing weakness of tourism," the company said. "Sales in the second quarter were impacted by exchange rate fluctuations, which were offset on the operating level by good hedging cover. Furthermore, buying trends of domestic Japanese and Korean clients were negatively impacted by the short-term effects of the World Cup Football in the month of June."

LVMH added that it expected the second half of the year to be "more favourable", owing to a number of new product launches and store openings and the fact that the second half of 2001 provides "an easier base for comparative performance".