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Hermes beats expectations with 8.8 percent increase in third-quarter sales

French luxury giant Hermes reports a slight acceleration in sales growth in the third-quarter to 8.8 percent at constant exchange rates, up from 8.1 percent in the previous three months.

Hermes said the improvement was driven by resilient growth in the United States and stronger demand in Europe and in China where tighter controls on luxury goods imports helped lift local consumption.

“We have seen a step-up in sales in continental China,” Chief Executive Axel Dumas told journalists in a conference call. “There, local consumption has improved against last year.”

Chinese customers, the biggest buyers of luxury goods who make up more than a third of global demand, have been re-opening their wallets, luxury groups said, spurred in part by government policies encouraging local consumption.

The group confirmed its full-year sales targets, including sales growth below 8 percent at constant exchange rates.

Hermes, which employs 12,500 people worldwide, of which 7,000 are in France, said it continued to hire in its workshops and had taken on more than 300 people this year.

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