Hermes reports record 2012 with 22,6 percent turnover increase to 3,4 billion euros

French luxury group Hermes has posted a 16.4 percent rise in 2012 sales at constant exchange rates, beating its own recent forecast and predicted a slight rise in its operating margin for the year. “Sales exceeded the target for the year, driven by persistently robust momentum in the fourth quarter,” Hermes said in a statement on Tuesday. Revenue grew 18.5 percent in the last three months of the year, marking an acceleration from 15.7 percent growth in the third quarter and 13.4 percent in the second.

Quarterly growth was strongest in Asia, excluding Japan, at 30 percent, Hermes said. The group added two branches in Taiwan and China, while six other stores were renovated or expanded last year. Growth in Europe was 12 percent. Hermes said revenue totaled 3.48 billion euros ($4.66 billion) last year, a rise of 22.6 percent at current exchange rates. Fourth-quarter sales came in at 1.04 billion.

The company, which is due to post full-year results on March 21, said its 2012 operating margin was expected to be “slightly above the all-time high achieved in 2011″. The margin reached 31.2 percent of sales in 2011.

Hermes store Geneva, Switzerland