Hermes reports 6.3 percent rise in first-half earnings, thanks to Asia

Operating profit reached 621 million euros ($818 million) from 584 million euros, luxury giant Hermes said today in a statement. Analysts predicted 617 million euros, according to the median of nine estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Earnings as a proportion of sales narrowed to 32.6 percent from 33.1 percent, weighed down by unfavorable exchange rates.

Supply constraints and high prices have helped cushion Hermes from softening luxury demand in Asia. Still, the weakness of currencies such as the yen against the euro mean that the company expects this year’s operating margin to decline from a record 32.4 percent last year, Hermes reiterated.

World’s largest luxury group LVMH owns 23.1 percent of Hermes. The stock has gained 6.3 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 1.8 percent decline in LVMH.

Hermes Art de la Table, at Faubourg St Honore flagship store Paris