Hermes posts glittering results driven by Asia sales

Thursday 20 March 2014 12.45
Hermes CEO Axel Dumas eyes growth of 10% this year
Hermes CEO Axel Dumas eyes growth of 10% this year

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

Hermes said its net profits rose by 6.8% last year to €790m on a 7.8% gain in sales to €3.8 billion.

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

Sales growth was strongest in Asia (minus Japan), which posted a 16% gain, and the US with sales there up by 14%
 
Even in crisis-hit Europe, sales of the luxury goods surged by 12%, the group said.

The 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. 

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