PARIS, France — Hermès International said demand from Chinese consumers kept rising in the start of the year, another sign that the key luxury market is holding up. First-quarter sales rose 12 percent at constant exchange rates. Analysts expected 10.2 percent growth.
Sales growth accelerated in the three months even after 2018 showed the biggest annual increase in revenue in four years. While mainland China was robust, greater China’s growth rate exceeded 10 percent, showing that Chinese consumers are still buying in neighbouring countries.
While the results beat expectations, LVMH set the bar high when it reported 15 percent growth in its fashion and leather-goods business earlier this month. Kering also reported sales of its star Gucci brand rose 20 percent in the quarter.
Hermès has a higher exposure than rivals to its home market in France, where Yellow-Vest protests have been disrupting luxury shopping. Sales in that country rose 1 percent, lagging the rest of the business.
Shares in Hermès have risen 28 percent this year.
By Thomas Mulier; editors: Eric Pfanner, Thomas Mulier and Geraldine Amiel.