Luxury sales back at record levels in 2011 -study

* Sales to grow 3-5 pct in 2011 to 173-176 bln euros -Bain

* 2010 sales seen up 10 pct to 168 bln euros -Bain

* Leather goods, jewels, watches drive recovery -Altagamma

By Antonella Ciancio

MILAN, Oct 18 (BestGrowthStock) – The global market for luxury goods
is expected to return to pre-crisis levels in 2011 on the back
of a 10 percent growth this year, helped by booming Asia and
Chinese tourists shopping in Europe, a report said on Monday.

U.S. consultancy Bain & Co said in a study on the outlook
for the industry published on Monday it expects sales of luxury
goods to rise between 3 and 5 percent next year, with leather
bags, watches and jewels driving the recovery.

Global sales should rise to 173-176 billion euros ($246
billion) in 2011, up from 170 billion euros in 2007.

“In the first half of this year we talked about a light at
the end of the tunnel,” Santo Versace, chairman of Italian
luxury goods association Altagamma which contributed to the
study, said in a statement.

“On the basis of the preliminary 2010 figures, we can
confirm that positive trend,” Santo Versace, who is also
chairman of Italian fashion house Versace.

Global sales of luxury goods are expected to grow 10 percent
to 168 billion euros this year, after falling 8 percent in 2009,
the worst year for the industry in more than two decades, the
study said.

However, players with global reach, strong brand heritage
and efficient retail network have weathered the storm.

LVMH (LVMH.PA: ), the world’s biggest luxury group beat
third-quarter forecasts this month, confirming a strong rebound
in the sector. [ID:nLDE69D03K]

China remains the fastest-growing luxury market with sales
expected to rise 30 percent this year, while crisis-hit Japan
will start to recover only next year, the study showed.

Sales in Europe, whose luxury brands account for around 75
percent of the global market, are seen up 6 percent this year,
fuelled by shoppers from emerging markets such as China.

The United States, where sales fell 15 percent in 2009 hit
by discounts at department stores, are seen growing sales by 7
percent higher this year, or 12 percent at constant foreign
exchange rates.

“Global consumption in 2011 should be significantly close to
the record levels of 2007,” Altagamma’s secretary general
Armando Branchini said in a statement.

Leather bags, shoes, jewellery and watches are expected to
rise more than 8 percent next year, trailed by clothing,
perfumes, cosmetics and tablewear.

The luxury yacht industry will continue to fall at
double-digit rates this year to an estimated 6.4 billion euros,
Bain said, with smaller boats reacting better to the
unfavourable sales environment.

Although competition remains tough, luxury goods groups’
margins are expected to improve next year.
(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Mike Nesbit)
($1=.7153 euros)

Luxury sales back at record levels in 2011 -study