'Bling was king' for growing numbers of Irish people during the pandemic as pre-tax profits at the Irish arm of Louis Vuitton last year surged by 12% to €8.06m.

The world’s most valuable luxury brand is renowned for its expensive hand bags with its Steamer MM bag currently available online for its Irish customers at €5,150 and the Petite Malle bag selling for €5,350.

However, new accounts show that there was increased demand for the brand’s designer range of leather goods, accessories, watches, jewellery, fragrances, shoes and clothing here in 2021 as the Irish arm of Louis Vuitton reported a further 14% revenue increase last year from €21.1m to €24.13m which translates to average weekly revenues of €464,192.

The record performance last year followed profits increasing by 15% and revenues rising by 2% during the first pandemic hit year of 2020.

The strong performance by the brand in Ireland during the pandemic impacted years has allowed the firm to pay out cumulative dividends of €18.84m across 2022, 2021 and 2020.

A proposed dividend of €7.048m for this year which equals the company's entire post tax profit for 2021 follows dividends of €6.3m for last year and €5.49m for 2020.

The firm achieved the increases in profits and revenues in 2021 despite Covid-19 restrictions shutting down its ‘bricks and mortar’ store here for four months of last year.

The brand has only one dedicated store here which is housed in Brown Thomas on Dublin’s Grafton Street.

Last year, the company's revenues were boosted by online sales increasing by 23% and this followed online sales increasing by 382% in 2020.

The directors state that Louis Vuitton will continue to focus its efforts on developing its client networks and will maintain a strict control over costs.

The brand is a favourite of celebrities and pop stars and Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez have all been spotted sporting Louis Vuitton branded items.

Louis Vuitton is part of the multi-billion stock market-listed LVMH Moet Hennessy luxury brands company.

The Irish company last year recorded post tax profits of €7.04m after paying corporation tax of €1m.

Numbers employed by the company last year decreased from 19 to 15 as staff costs reduced from €672,000 to €665,000.

At the end of December last, the company was sitting on accumulated profits of €7.04m.

- report by Gordon Deegan