PARIS, March 21 (Reuters) - French luxury goods company Hermes, known for its $10,000-plus Birkin handbags, on Wednesday reported record operating margins of 34.6 percent in 2017, as the firm hiked its dividend and said it would also make an extraordinary payout.
The group’s operating income came in at 1.92 billion euros ($2.36 billion), up 13 percent from a year earlier and in line with analyst forecasts, while net profit expanded 11 percent to 1.22 billion euros.
Hermes’ margins were up from 32.6 percent of sales in 2016. Hermes’ chief executive Axel Dumas told journalists that hedging against currency effects would have a slightly negative effect on margins in 2018.
The company said it was proposing a dividend against 2017 earnings of 4.10 euros, up 9 percent on a year earlier, and said it also planned an exceptional dividend of 5 euros per share. ($1 = 0.8151 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis Editing by GV De Clercq)