Hermes hit by weaker yen


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The Independent Online

Hermès’ Birkin bags and silk scarves are still in vogue globally but a weak Japanese yen hit sales.

Paris-based Hermès reported a 4.6 per cent rise in fourth-quarter sales to €1.09 billion (£895.2 million) driven by China’s insatiable desire for top-end handbags, scarves and clothes.

But at constant exchange rates it recorded an 11 per cent sales rise — down from 12.9 per cent for the previous quarter. The dip was driven by a falling yen.

The group will report its full-year results next month but said sales were €3.75 billion, up from  €3.48 billion in 2012. Hermès said it expected to beat its 32.1 per cent margin record set in 2012.

The brand credited its “ambitious designs” which had stimulated growth across all its divisions and highlighted its jewellery divisions’ success with sales up 37 per cent.

However, watch sales were hit by weak demand in China due to the government crackdown on lavish spending by officials.