Hermes bags record profitability in first half

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Luxury goods maker Hermes said Thursday that good sales momentum across all of its divisions and in all regions helped it achieve a record profitability in the first six months.

"The performance in the first half confirmed the positive momentum of the ready-to-wear and accessories and the silk and textiles business lines," Hermes said in a statement.

Growth in leather goods and saddlery was "sustained" and the perfumes division also booked an increase in sales, it said.

Overall, group revenues rose by 11 percent to 2.713 billion euros ($3.23 billion) in the period from January to June, Hermes said.

Underlying or operating profit was up 13 percent at 931 million euros -- or an "all-time high" of 34.3 percent of sales -- and net profit climbed by 11 percent to 605 million euros.

In regional terms, "revenues rose in all geographical areas worldwide," Hermes said.

At a news conference, Hermes chief executive Axel Dumas hailed the group's "very good profitability" and insisted it was attributable to "organic growth."

But Dumas cautioned in a telephone news conference that Hermes was staying "prudent in a very volatile environment" and that the first-half performance could not be extrapolated for the whole year.

"In the medium-term, despite growing economic, geopolitical and monetary uncertainties around the world, the group confirms an ambitious goal for revenue growth at constant exchange rates," the group statement said.

© 2017 AFP

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