Hermes raises revenue forecasts

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The Independent Online

Hermes raised forecasts for revenues this year amid growing demand for its scarves, accessories and leather bags, in a reminder of the luxury goods company's attraction for rival LVMH, whose advances Hermes is trying to fend off.

Hermes, which is majority family-owned, has sought to defend itself from the threat of a takeover by LVMH, the world's largest luxury group, which has built up a 20 per cent stake in the company.

Speculation that Bernard Arnault, LVMH's controlling shareholder and France's wealthiest man, is intent on buying Hermes has sent its shares soaring nearly 50 per cent since April, despite LVMH saying it has no plans to make a bid.

Hermes forecast a 12-14 per cent rise in consolidated revenue at constant exchange rates for 2011, ditching its previous range of 8-10 per cent after a better-than-expected performance in the second quarter.