Hermes Sales Rise as Leather, Ready-to-Wear Beat Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- Hermes reported sales growth that may lift the recent gloom in the luxury industry as the French bagmaker sold more clothes and leather bags than analysts expected.

  • Third-quarter sales grew 10 percent excluding currency swings to 1.46 billion euros ($1.7 billion), smack in line with the consensus.

Key Insights

  • One surprise in the Birkin bagmaker’s results came from ready-to-wear. That offering has been doing well with understated looks from a womenswear designer who worked under Phoebe Philo at Celine, and helped the Olsen twins start their luxury brand.
  • Chief Executive Officer Axel Dumas said he saw no sign of weakness in China, where it’s “business as usual,” with Asian sales surging 14 percent excluding Japan. The company has been plowing ahead with new openings and has introduced online sales all across China.
  • Dumas said the big factor to watch regarding Chinese luxury consumption is the exchange rate, not the recent stricter customs enforcement in that country.
  • Hermes gave the same vague outlook as it usually does, pledging to strive for “ambitious” revenue growth over the medium-term.

Market Reaction

Hermes shares rose 0.4 percent in early trading. They have gained 13 percent this year.

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