Hermes sales rise as Asian shoppers buy more
Updated: 2012-05-04 07:59
By Bloomberg News in Paris (China Daily)
Hermes International SCA, a French maker of silk scarves and leather handbags, reported an increase in first-quarter sales, easing concern that luxury demand is weakening amid slower economic growth.
Revenue climbed 22 percent to 776.9 million euros ($1.02 billion), the Paris-based company said on Thursday. Sales rose 18 percent excluding currency shifts.
Wealthy clients are spending more on Birkin bags and other luxury goods even as China's economy slows and Europe's debt crisis weighs on consumer spending.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which holds a 22.3 percent stake in Hermes, last month reported a 14 percent rise in comparable first-quarter sales, accelerating from the previous three months.
"Slowdown? What a joke!" Thomas Mesmin, an analyst at CA Cheuvreux, wrote on Thursday in a note to clients, citing Hermes' sales pickup in Europe. "We believe that tourist flows have fueled the growth" at Hermes as well as other luxury goods companies, he said.
"All business sectors are generating growth," Hermes said in a statement. The company "will continue to invest in developing its production capacity and its distribution network, with the opening or renovation of some 15 branches".
Sales climbed 14 percent in France, 27 percent in the rest of Europe and 11 percent in the Americas at constant exchange rates. In Asia, revenue rose 8.1 percent in Japan and 22 percent in the remainder of the region, the company said.
(China Daily 05/04/2012 page17)