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LVMH posts slide in H1 earnings

PARIS (AP) -- Luxury brand conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton says earnings slipped 6 percent in the first half as its core leather and fashion business saw sales stagnate while profit from watches and jewelry slumped.

The Champs Elysees-headquartered company behind Givenchy gowns and Louis Vuitton luggage said net profit fell to 1.58 billion euros ($2.09 billion) in the first half, down from 1.68 billion euros a year earlier.

Revenue from fashion and leather, including the Fendi and Celine brands, rose only 1 percent in the period. The watches and jewelry division, which includes Bulgari and TAG Heuer, posted falling sales and profits in the first half, which LVMH blamed on lower demand from watch retailers and store closures.

The company said planned product launches would lift market share this year.