Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods monolith LVMH, says that despite dire economic predictions and reports of a falloff in parts of the luxury sector the company expects profits to actually improve in 2008. "We are in a position to meet our objectives for a sharp rise in earnings in 2008," Arnault just announced at LVMH's annual shareholders meeting, according to Women's Wear Daily. "Every time we've been [in a difficult economy] we've increased market share. We've started the year strong. We will not pull off [of the accelerator]. We are focused on innovating."
Arnault, whose company recently added Swiss watchmaker Hublot to its portfolio of luxury brands, singled out handbags as a strong earner. "There are tons of new leather goods," he declared. "The Richard Prince bag for Vuitton" - one of our Handbags of the Day -- "has been an immense success and we won't be able to meet demand," Arnault said. "We can't produce the pieces fast enough." He also predicted strong sales this year for Fendi, calling it "one of the most important Italian brands on the market," and Dior as well -- no doubt thanks to Charlize Theron's captivating fragrance ads (above).
Gallery: LVMH Luxury Portfolio