In contract with other major luxury goods groups, Hermès International continues to grow at a double-digit rate. The management is predicting currency-neutral sales growth of around 10 percent after posting increases of 12 percent for the first nine months of this year and 11 percent for the third quarter.
In terms of euros, sales rose by only 9 percent in the first nine months to €2,897.4 million, due to unfavorable currency exchange rates. As usual, no details have yet been given at this stage about the bottom line, but for the same reason, Hermès is expecting a lower profitability for the full year than in 2013, when it reached a record margin of 32.4 percent.
Sales went up by 13 percent in terms of yen in Japan during the nine-month period. The softening of the Chinese economy did not prevent the group from reaching 15 percent growth in the rest if the Asia-Pacific in terms of local currencies. Sales went up by 14 percent in the Americas and by 7 percent in Europe.
Among the various product segments, Leather Goods and Saddlery performed the best along with the “Other” category, which includes John Lobb shoes. Both rose by 15 percent. Hermès branded shoes are part of the Ready-to-wear & Accessories segment, which raised its sales by 13 percent. The only decline, at 9 percent, was recorded in watches.
Meanwhile, LVMH has provided details about the implementation of a settlement of its share dispute with Hermès, based on a memorandum of understanding signed on Sept. 7. LVMH and its parent company, Christian Dior, will redistribute most of their Hermès shares to Hermès' existing shareholders on Dec. 17. Groupe Arnault will remain with an 8.5 percent stake in Hermès. LVMH, Dior and Groupe Arnault will not buy any Hermès shares for the next five years.