Hermès International has yet to publish its sales figures for the first quarter, but while expressing a cautious outlook for the balance of this year, the company's management confirmed that it had not seen any change in demand from Asian customers and other sales trends. It added that all its division continued to perform well globally in the first quarter except for its silk unit, which had more moderate growth.
The company had previously reported on a 10 percent sales increase in the fourth quarter of 2018 on a comparable basis, with the Asia-Pacific business accelerating from the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, the company reported a 15 percent increase in its net profit to €1.4 billion for the past financial year. Operating earnings rose at a slower pace of 6 percent, but they remained at a high level of €2 billion, equivalent to an operating margin of 34.3 percent of sales.
Group revenues rose by 10.4 percent to €5.97 billion last year, with a currency-neutral increase of 7.5 percent. They went up by 6 percent in France, by 8 percent in the rest of Europe, by 12 percent in the Americas, by 8 percent in Japan and by 14 percent in the rest of the Asia-Pacific area.
In terms of product categories, Ready-to-Wear and Accessories recorded the best performance with a sales increase of 14 percent, led by footwear.
The company said it continued to improve the quality of its distribution network, opening new stores, renovating or extending almost 20 others, and continuing the roll-out of its new digital platform in Europe and China in October.