The group's consolidated revenues totaled €1.59 billion in the first half of 2012, up by 21.9 percent at current exchange rates and by 15.4 percent at constant exchange rates. Sales continued to expand both in the group's own stores and in the wholesale channel.
All regions registered sales growth in the first half. Hermès' Sales in non-Japan Asia rose by 25 percent, driven by China, Singapore and Hong Kong. Japan was up by 3 percent. In Europe, France registered a lower-than-average increase of 10 percent, while the rest of Europe went up by 21 percent. For the Americas, the increase was of 9 percent, despite a very tough comparison against a 34 percent increase in the year-ago period.
All business segments registered increases in first-half sales. The leathergoods and saddlery segment, which includes bags and luggage, horseback riding, diaries and small leathergoods, was the one registering the lowest rate of increase, with sales up by 10 percent, due to limited manufacturing capabilities compared with other segments. In the second quarter, the rise for the segment was 7.4 percent.
The most remarkable performances was scored by the jewelry and “art of living” sectors, with a combined increase in sales by 50 percent. Ready-to-wear and fashion accessories were up by 21 percent. Silk and textiles delivered growth of 15 percent. The perfumes segment was up by 13 percent. The watch sector jumped by 23 percent.
For the other products segment, which includes John Lobb shoes as well as production activities realized for third parties (textile printing, perfumes, tanning, etc.), first-half sales were up by 18.3 percent. For the second quarter, the increase from 2011 was 13.2 percent.
First-half results will be published on Aug. 31. For the full year 2012, the French conglomerate expects to stand by its target of consolidated revenue growth of 10 percent at constant exchange rates. The operating margin is forecast to lie between the 27.8 percent rate reached in 2010 and the all-time high of 31.2 percent achieved in 2011.