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Hermès sales grow 25.5% in Q1 2011, Americas outbuy China

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French luxury group Hermès, maker of the coveted Birkin handbags and iconic silk scarves, has reported an overall 25.5% growth in sales in the first quarter of 2011, with a consolidated revenue of €637.1 million (AED 3.3 billion) during the first three months of the year.

All regions other than Japan, due to the natural calamities which struck various parts of the North East Asian country in March, experienced a rise in revenues ranging from 19% to 33%, the group’s official financial report indicated.

Interior of the Hermès Rue de Sèvres store opened in November 2010

France, which benefited from the success of the new store on rue de Sèvres in Paris opened in late of 2010, delivered robust sales growth (19 %), as did the rest of Europe (21 %). The Americas and non-Japan Asia registered exceptional growth of 33 % and 27 %, respectively.

It is interesting to see that the group recorded a higher growth rate in the Americas than Asia, especially when all focus of all industries, not just the luxury market, is aimed at China.

Bags, scarves, perfumes, watches and fashion jewellery drove up the demand for Hermès branded products, in the first quarter, with all categories witnessing dramatic sales growth of up to 34%. Leather goods and saddlery continues to be the primary moneymaker for the luxury label, representing almost half of the group’s total sales for Q1 2011, consistent with the same period in 2010.

The bottom line? People are still buying Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags, and they’re not necessarily coming from China or any other emerging market.


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