Hermes wraps up Q1 with strong sales growth

Paris (AFP) –


French luxury goods giant Hermes on Wednesday posted strong growth in sales, with Asia driving the positive trend for the silk scarves, perfume and watch maker.

The company's perfumes line did particularly well, with sales jumping 16 percent worldwide following the launch of the Twilly d'Hermes fragrance for women aimed at millennials.

The watches line also did well -- particularly in Asia -- with an 11 percent jump in sales, Hermes said in a statement.

Best known for its Birkin leather handbag, named after British actress Jane Birkin, the company also saw an eight percent increase in sales of its leather goods.

"Performance in the first quarter was driven by sound growth across all the business lines," Hermes said in the statement.

The company's "consolidated revenue amounted to 1.394 million euros ($1.67 million) in the first quarter 2018," the statement added.

The latest figures came after Hermes in March posted record profitability for 2017 thanks to strong in-store and online demand worldwide.

"All of the (segments) have posted strong growth, as well as all regions," Hermes CEO Axel Dumas said, as he hailed the "strong results" for January to March this year.

Unlike many high street fashion brands, which are suffering from what analysts dub the "retail apocalypse" as online giants take over, Hermes saw its in-store client base grow 11 percent worldwide.

Sales in Asia -- excluding Japan -- soared by 16 percent, thanks to strong growth in China and the launch of a new flagship store in Hong Kong, the statement said.

Hermes expects more growth in the coming months, "despite growing economic, geopolitical and monetary uncertainties around the world", the statement added.