HERMES sales increase by 23% in the first half 2010

French luxury company HERMES registered a 23% sales increase for the six months ended 30 June 2010, to a value of  EUR 1,074.7m. Sales growth was particularly strong for the group’s directly operated stores (up 25% at constant exchange rates), with a solid growth showing accross all Hermès product categories. Wholesale revenues, which in 2009 were adversely affected by distributors’ inventory drawdowns, primarily in watches and perfumes, resumed on an uptrend.

In Europe, sales were up 17% driven by excellent retail activity in all countries. In the Americas, the rebound initiated in the fourth quarter of 2009 continued throughout the first six months, with a rise of 26% at end of June. The first Hermes store dedicated to men on Madison Avenue in New York inaugurated at the beginning of the year encountered an impressive success.

In non-Japan Asia (up 45%), sales generated by the group’s stores remained on an impressive growth trend. Hermes continued to expand its distribution network and opened two new branches in China during the second quarter. In Japan, sales were slightly down (-2%).

By product categories, silks & Textiles delivered an exceptional performance. Sales advanced by 17%, underpinned by the success of the new women’s silk collections, which were enhanced by exceptional new products in cashmere and silk.

Leather Goods and Saddlery remained on a very high growth trend (23%), fuelled by new, high-profile introductions in small leather accessories and leather bags in addition to the flagship models.

Ready-to-Wear and Fashion Accessories delivered a rise of 18%, attributable primarily to the success of fashion accessories.In Perfumes, sales were up 25%, boosted by the successful launch of Voyage d’Hermes during the month of March and by persistently strong demand for Terre d’Hermès.After a difficult year in 2009, Watches registered a 33% surge while Tableware sales improved appreciably (up 8%).

Outlook for 2010

Hermes will continue to follow its long-term strategy of maintaining control over its know-how and distribution network. In 2010, Hermes will continue to invest in expanding its distribution network and plans to open and renovate some twenty branches. It will inaugurate a new store on rue de Sèvres in Paris at the end of the year.

During 2010 – the year of “Tales to be told” – Hermes’ sales growth will continue to be driven by its ambitious, alluring creative designs and by the vitality of its craftsmanship. This momentum will be sustained by rallying the distribution network’s efforts to showcase our lavish collections and to highlight customer service – our strongest advantage in maintaining growth