Hermes reports half-year profit jumps 50%

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French luxury brand Hermes said on Wednesday its half-year net profit soared 50 percent to 290.9 million euros ($420 million), with its operating margin widening to 32 percent.

The company said that sales rose by 22.0 percent at current exchange rates to 1.3 billion euros, or 21 percent at constant exchange rates.

The luxury group confirmed its target for annual sales growth at constant exchange rates of 12-14 percent, with operating margin remaining at the level of last year.

It's share price was stable in morning trading in a Paris market up nearly 1.7 percent.

Hermes, which was seen as a takeover target by luxury conglomerate LVMH that has amassed a 21.4 percent stake, reaffimed its intention to remain independent.

"Hermes will not deviate from its long-term strategy of maintaining control over its know-how and distribution network," it said in a statement.

© 2011 AFP

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