Hermes reports new sales record in 2011

Hermes ”The Time Ahead of You” Spring Summer advertising campaign

The luxury house Hermes has set a new sales record in 2011, to 2.84 billion euros (+18.3%), the highest of the range predicted by analysts, and expects an operating margin up over 30% on 2011, according to a press release Thursday.

Hermes, which had raised its forecast twice in 2011, exceeding its target of annual growth in sales of 15-16%.  The sales were driven by America and Asia (excluding Japan), a region where six new branches were opened during the year 2011, one of which attracted considerable attention in Bombay (India).

Hermes takes advantage of “sustained activity” in the fourth quarter, when sales grew 15.8%, and confirms the very strong health of the luxury world. Over the year, the maker of silk scarves recorded both sales “very aggressive” in its stores (19%) and a net increase in its wholesale sales (15%).

Despite the tsunami, the turnover in Japan, the first market of Hermes for two decades, is almost stable (-1%). And outside Japan, Hermes strong growth in all regions where it operates.

The growth was very strong in all its businesses, particularly with a jump of the division Clothing and Accessories at 30%. But the jewelry is almost as good (27%). Hermes will publish its annual results on March 22, confirms that it should beat its record operating margin. It “is expected to grow significantly and exceed 30% of turnover”, against 27.8% in 2010.

For 2012, Hermes, which has a deficit in itsproduction capacity, plans to continue investing in this sector and in developing its distribution network, with the opening or renovation of fifteen stores.