PARIS, April 27 French luxury goods group Hermes
said on Thursday that sales growth accelerated in the
first quarter, driven by demand from Asian customers, providing
further evidence of a broader recovery in the luxury goods
Hermes, known for its $10,000 Birkin bags and $400 printed
silk scarves, joined larger rivals LVMH and Kering
- owner of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent - in reporting
strong quarterly sales.
Hermes struck a tone of caution over its outlook, saying
that the growth seen at the end of March could not necessarily
be projected to continue over the full year for 2017.
Hermes reported an 11.2 percent rise in revenue at constant
exchange rates to 1.352 billion euros ($1.47 billion) compared
with 6.6 percent growth in the last quarter of 2016.
The first quarter increase was led by a 15 percent jump in
sales at its leather goods division, which makes up 50 percent
of group sales, and by a 16 percent rise in Asian sales.
Similar to its peers, Hermes said the improvement was driven
by most regions and by a pickup in demand from Asian customers,
notably Chinese both locally and abroad.
Hermes said it was keeping an "ambitious" medium-term goal
for revenue growth at constant exchange rates despite growing
economic and geopolitical and monetary uncertainties.
($1 = 0.9173 euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)