PARIS, France — Hermes International SCA, the French maker of Kelly handbags and silk scarves, reported a 10 percent rise in first-quarter sales as demand increased in all regions, led by Asia.
Revenue climbed to 856.8 million euros ($1.1 billion), Paris-based Hermes said today in a statement. Analysts predicted 854 million euros, according to the average of five estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales excluding currency swings rose 13 percent.
The so-called absolute luxury segment where Hermes competes is the fastest growing part of the market and will outperform the rest until at least 2014, Bain & Co. estimates. The company is aiming for revenue growth of about 10 percent in 2013, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Thomas said last month.
“Everywhere demand for Hermes collections remains strong, favored by a growing requirement for quality, personality and timelessness of objects and clothes,” Hermes said in the statement. The company said it will continue to follow its strategy.
The shares fell 0.4 percent to 248.85 euros on April 19, the last day they traded. That gave the saddle maker a market value of 26.3 billion euros.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world’s biggest luxury company, owns 22.3 percent of Hermes, which unlike its larger rival can control sales by limiting supply amid strong demand, according to Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca.
Luxury-goods makers have reported divergent sales trends this year as demand slows. LVMH last week posted its slowest quarterly growth in fashion and leather-goods revenue in more than three years, citing a drop in Japanese tourism and fewer store visitors in China. Burberry Group Plc reported revenue that beat estimates as sales of its more expensive products compensated for weak shopper numbers.
By: Andrew Roberts; Editor: Thomas Mulier