Hermes luxuriates in ‘exceptional’ results

PARIS (AFP) – French luxury group said yesterday that its sales and profit had bounded past pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter.

While the firm known for its leather handbags and silk scarves acknowledged the exceptional nature of its performance due to the fact its stores were closed in many countries during the second quarter of last year, it also said it had momentum to grow further.

First-half profit more than tripled from last year to nearly EUR1.2 billion (USD1.4 billion). It was also an increase of 56 per cent from the first half of 2019, before the pandemic began.

Sales came in at EUR4.2 billion, a jump of 70 per cent from the same period last year and 29 per cent from 2019.

“The results for the first half of the year have been exceptional in nature,” chief executive Axel Dumas said in a statement.

“But this performance also reflects the momentum and resilience of our model,” he added.

The firm said the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations this year are difficult to assess.

“In the medium-term, despite the economic, geopolitical and monetary uncertainties around the world, the group confirms an ambitious goal for revenue growth at constant exchange rates,” it said.

Hermes shares rose 0.8 per cent just after trading began in Paris, where the blue-chip CAC 40 index shed 0.4 per cent.

An employee cutting leather pieces at the Hermes leather workshop in Saint-Junien, central France. PHOTO: AFP