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LVMH owner Bernard Arnault is now the world’s richest person

LVMH owner Bernard Arnault has once again become the world’s richest person on Forbes’ real-time list after a brief period in pole position last year. He has supplanted tech mogul and embattled Twitter owner Elon Musk.

Bernard Arnault, the French owner of luxury goods giant LVMH, has become the world’s richest person. Arnault overtakes embattled Twitter and Tesla owner Elon Musk, after Tesla suffered a large drop in share price and LVMH continued to enjoy strong performance.

At the time of writing, Arnault had opened up a gap of some $40 billion on Musk. LVMH is a giant in the world of luxury consumer goods with interests spanning fashion, jewellery, cosmetics, and, of course, wine and spirits.

Among its impressive portfolio are brands such as Moët & Chandon, Château D’Yquem, Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Hennessy, and Cloudy Bay – among many others.

Last year, it was suggested that Arnault could remain at the helm of LVMH until he reaches 80, suggesting that there’s no immediate heir in the offing. LVMH was reportedly looking to raise the age limit for the position of chief executive to 80 at a shareholder meeting.

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Luxury goods magante Bernard Arnault, along with his family, surpassed tech billionaire Elon Musk to become the world’s richest person with Forbes’ real-time billionaires list placing his current fortune at an astonishing $185.7 billion.

LVMH owns a dazzling array of major players in the wine and spirits industry, including Moët & Chandon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot, Hennessy and Château d’Yquem in its wine and Champagne sector, and Hennessy, Glenmorangie, Belvedere in its spirits division.

Elon Musk, who recently purchased Twitter amid a PR storm, and owns the electric car manufacturer Tesla, has seen his fortune drop $3.8 billion, according to Forbes stats, while the Arnault family’s fortune rose $730 million at the time of writing.

It is worth noting that the above figures fluctuate, as Forbes’ billionaires list is intended to provide a real-time overview.

LVMH’s wine and spirits division saw revenue growth in the double figures during the third quarter of 2022, with its Champagne and wine sector leading the way in terms of growth.

Sales of LVMH’s wine and spirits arm jumped 14% to €5.22 billion (US$5.07bn) over a nine-month period, while total organic revenue for LVMH in its entirety rose 20% to reach €56.5bn (US$54.9bn) for the first nine months of 2022.

In the summer, LVMH acquired Napa Valley’s Joseph Phelps Vineyards, which had operated under the stewardship of the Phelps family for almost five decades. Moët Hennessy CEO Philippe Schaus said at the time, “It’s important for us that we are acquiring a family business with a legacy and heritage. It’s super important that we keep that heritage.”

In the wake of its strong Q3 results, LVMH said it would place its focus on “strengthening the desirability of its brands, by relying on the authenticity and quality of its products, the excellence of their distribution and the reactivity of its organisation”.


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