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Hermès said that operating profits climbed 8.9% last year to a record high as the Paris-based maker of luxury goods outperformed rivals in a slowing market. Sales at the group’s ready-to-wear and accessories division rose 18% last year while leather goods and saddlery climbed 9%.
The company, famous for its leather goods, said that 2013 operating profit reached €1.2bn, while net profits increased 6.8% compared with the previous year to €790m – in line with expectations.
Net profit at the Paris-based, family-controlled group has almost tripled since the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing global recession.
In a statement, Hermés said that operating profit margins reached an all-time high of 32.4 % – 0.3 percentage points higher than in 2012.
It said that it would propose a dividend of €2.70 compared with €2.50 last year.
Hermès is coping with a slowdown in global luxury spending better than rivals, which have been hit hard by a Chinese government decision to crack down on so-called conspicuous spending and gift-giving by officials.
Meanwhile, the group’s limited production capacity has also helped. Hermès has the benefit of excess demand and waiting lists.
Full-year sales last year rose 13% at constant exchange rates compared with 2012, to reach €3.8bn. On a comparable basis, sales in non-Japan Asia increased 16%, 14% in America and 12% in Europe.