2020 was a difficult year for a broad range of sectors and the luxury industry was no exception. Indeed, Deloitte’s recently published Global Powers of Luxury Goods 2021 report reveals that the revenue generated by the world’s top 100 luxury companies fell from $281 billion in 2019 to $252 billion last year.
More than 80% of the companies in Deloitte’s top 100 reported lower sales of luxury goods in 2020, as pandemic-related store closures, travel bans and supply chain disruptions all took their toll. These declines were also reflected in the fact that the minimum revenue threshold required to get into the top 100 in 2020 was $182 million, a decrease of $56 million when compared to 2019.
Nonetheless, 81 of the 100 companies reported a net profit for the year, and although overall sales growth for the entire ranking of companies fell more than 20 percentage points year over year, the composite net profit margin of these 81 profit-making groups only slipped 5.7 percentage points to 5.1%.
That said, both revenues and profits were once again highly concentrated at the top end of Deloitte’s ranking. A mere 15 companies, each with luxury goods sales of more than $5 billion, were responsible for 63% of the total luxury goods sales generated by the top 100 luxury companies in 2020. At the other end of the scale, the 52 companies on the ranking with sales of $1 billion or less accounted for only 9.4% of this total.
As for the bottom line, all of the top 100’s total net profit came from the ranking’s top 10 companies in 2020, with the sum of all the other profit-making companies’ earnings constituting a composite net loss.
These top 10 companies remain largely unchanged since 2019. French conglomerate LVMH, owner of brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, took the top spot again, with luxury goods sales of $33.98 billion, while rival Kering came in second once more. The Paris-based company, whose brands include Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, reported luxury goods sales of $14.93 billion last year.
U.S.-based The Estée Lauder Companies and Switzerland’s Richemont maintained their respective third and fourth-place rankings, followed by France’s L’Oréal Luxe in fifth place, Chanel Limited in sixth and Italian eyewear specialist EssilorLuxottica in seventh, all of which were repeat performances from 2019.
There was a little more movement at the lower end of the top 10, with PVH Corp., the New York-based owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, climbing one place to take eighth position and France’s Hermès International breaking into the top 10 for the first time to claim ninth place.
China’s Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group rounded out the top 10, dropping two places since 2019 and setting the lower limit of the top 10 at $7.20 billion in luxury goods sales.
The most notable national presence in the top 10, France also contributed the largest share to the total luxury goods sales of the entire top 100 ranking in 2020, accounting for 28.1% of the figure. Italy, on the other hand, has the most companies on the list, boasting 26 compared to France’s eight.
The U.S. was responsible for both the second-highest number of companies in the ranking and the second-highest contribution to total sales of luxury goods, with 15 American companies accounting for 18.8% of overall sales.
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