Hermès sales surge 23% on demand in Asia and US

Sales at Birkin bag maker Hermes (HRMS.PA) rose 23% in the first quarter, above market expectations, as wealthy shoppers in China and Europe splurged on luxury fashion and accessories despite higher prices and global market turmoil.

Shares were up 1% in morning trading.

Hermes finance chief Eric du Halgouet told journalists store traffic in the United States, where rival LVMH earlier this week flagged softer demand for fashion, leather goods and jewellery, continued to rise.

“What we’re seeing in the United States is globally an increase in (store) traffic, the trends we’ve seen in April remain favorable, with, again, very dynamic traffic,” he said.

“We obviously remain vigilant as far as macro trends are concerned … but we have not seen a slowdown so far.”

Bernstein analyst Luca Solca said strong U.S. growth for the group, which posted a 19% increase in sales in the Americas region compared to 8% U.S. growth for LVMH, was particularly noteworthy.

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