Hermès International has raised its target for 2013 sales growth after reporting a 5.5 percent sales increase for the third quarter to €895.5 million, boosted by sales in Asia and the Americas. Excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, the increase stood at 12.9 percent, with a double-digit pace in both retail and wholesale channels. The company noted that its sales in the three-month period ended Sept. 30 rose faster than those of Kering and LVMH's Louis Vuitton. LVMH holds a 23.1 percent stake in Hermès.
Sales rose by 9.1 percent to €2.66 billion over the first nine months of the year. At average exchange rates, the increase comes to 13.9 percent. Exchange rates wiped €116 million off the group's revenue tally in the nine-month period.
In the third quarter, sales advanced at constant exchange rates by 17.6 percent in the Americas, 16.4 percent in Asia-Pacific, 12 percent in Europe excluding France, 8.7 percent in France and 5.8 percent in Japan. Growth was particularly strong in the U.S., registering a 17.6 percent sales increase in the quarter, and the Asia-Pacific region, which recorded a 16.4 percent increase, in contrast with other luxury brands that are suffering in that region from the slowdown of the Chinese economy.
By product category, sales in the quarter improved by 18.9 percent for ready-to-wear and fashion accessories, 12.7 percent for silk and textiles, 8.4 percent for leathergoods and saddlery, 5.3 percent for watches and 5.1 percent for perfumes.
During the quarter, Hermès opened stores in Ningbo, China, and in Nagoya, Japan within a local branch of Mitsukoshi, an international department store chain. The group also inaugurated its enlarged and renovated flagship store in Beverly Hills, California.
Hermès now expects annual consolidated revenue growth to exceed 11 percent at constant exchange rates. Last July, the company announced that the figure could “slightly” exceed the mid-term growth target of 10 percent. The operating margin could now come close to the all-time high of 32.1 percent reached in 2012, depending on exchange rate fluctuations.