Hermes posts glittering results driven by Asia sales

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 20 2014 08:13 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2014 05:48 PM

PARIS - French luxury goods group Hermes on Thursday posted record profits in 2013 as sales of its bags and scarves showed little sign of slowing, especially in China.

Net profits rose by 6.8 percent last year to 790 million euros ($1.1 billion) on a 7.8-percent gain in sales to 3.8 billion, the group said in a statement.

Operating profits rose by 8.9 percent to 1.22 billion, roughly in line with analysts' expectations.

Sales growth was strongest in Asia (minus Japan), which posted a 16-percent gain, and the United States (up 14 percent).

Even in crisis-hit Europe, sales of the luxury goods surged by 12 percent, the group said.

The Hermes results are especially impressive as the broader global luxury goods market shrank last year, following very strong growth in 2010-2012.

Many companies in the luxury products sector have reported suddenly running into a slowing of sales in China where a campaign against corruption has reduced the giving of expensive gifts, and also lavish entertainment and consumption of expensive drinks.

Analysts group Aurel BGC said the Hermes results were "extremely solid."

As usual, the group gave no forecasts for 2014 but chief executive Axel Dumas told AFP last month there was an "internal" forecast of "10 percent growth at stable exchange rates."

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse