The year has certainly got off to a good start for luxury companies, with firms like LVMH, home to Louis Vuitton, reporting stellar results for the first quarter. No wonder – according to CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets analyst Aaron Fischer, resurgent emerging market consumers are fuelling a strong growth in the global luxury goods market. Growth in the sector was double its long-term average last year, Fischer says. He has updated his bullish 2011 report “Dipped in Gold” and is particularly optimistic on established brands, predicting global growth of 10% in 2012, slowing slightly from last year’s 14% rise:
However, we expect leading brands to continue to outperform, rising 15%, compared with the street’s estimate of 12%, which seems far too low.
We look for emerging market consumers, especially when travelling, to drive robust sector growth in the medium term, posting a 15% demand compound annual growth rate in the next 10 years.
That should take emerging markets’ share of global luxury demand to 73% by 2020, up from 50% at present, Fischer predicts, with China playing a leading role.
Already in European fashion capitals, and in favourite shopping destinations such as New York and Hong Kong, shoppers from emerging markets account for over 50% percent of luxury sales. And the home-grown brands that populate malls and department stores across China should gradually cede ground to big international players, Fischer says. What’s more these new consumers don’t seem too price sensitive — Fischer estimates that Chanel passed on 20% price increases to customers in 2011, without denting sales.