US and China drive Hermès sales surge in first half of the year

Luxury goods company Hermès recorded a first-half sales rise of 22%, boosted by consistent growth from its own stores and the wholesale segment.

The US and China were the prime engineers of growth, but the French company reported solid momentum across all regions except Japan, which held firm despite the after-effects of the March earthquake and tsunami.

In the six months to June 30, sales in France increased 21%, buoyed by the company’s new Paris store, while the rest of Europe was up 20% at constant exchange rates.

Revenues in the US surged up 34%, while non-Japan Asia registered sales growth of 30%.

Silks and textiles were up 29% in the period, leather goods and saddlery rose 15% and clothing and accessories surged up 31%, thanks to the success of the spring-summer ready to wear collections and to fashion accessories.

Hermès, which is due to publish its full first half results on August 31, expects operating profit to register “significantly higher growth” than sales.

The company said it was difficult to make full-year projections because of the uncertainty surrounding the global economy, but expected revenue growth of 12-14% at constant exchange rates, “given the excellent, better than expected performance in the second quarter.”

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