French luxury group LVMH reported group sales up 5 per cent to €4 billion (£3.22 billion) in the first quarter.

The highest sales increase was delivered by LVMH's watch and jewellery division, where sales jumped 12 per cent to €211 million (£169.7 million). In fashion and leather goods – the group’s largest division – sales rose 7 per cent to €1.44 billion (£1.16 billion), which LVMH attributed to a particularly strong performance from its Louis Vuitton brand.

LVMH did not report on income, but said it remains confident of maintaining growth during the remainder of this year, despite the deepening global economic gloom and dwindling consumer spending.

In a statement, the group said: “LVMH will continue its growth in 2008, despite the challenging monetary environment and an uncertain economic climate at the beginning of the year. Increasing market share and the profitability of its leading brands, as well as improving the results of its developing companies remain top priorities.”