PARIS – In another sign of luxury’s robust health, Hermès International said Thursday fourth-quarter sales sprinted ahead 10 percent to 509.3 million euros, or $745.8 million at average exchange rates, aided by new and expanded stores. At constant exchange rates, the improvement stood at 15.6 percent.

“For the moment, we’re optimistic for 2008,” said Mireille Maury, the firm’s managing director of finance and administration. “The second half [of 2007] was better than the first….We see no signs of slowdown, including at our Wall Street store” in New York, which opened last June.

Maury said January sales continued at the same strong pace, boding well for the sector amidst an unsettled economic climate. LMVH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and PPR have also reported healthy growth for luxury and downplayed the impact of any U.S. slowdown. On Thursday, Hermès set an objective of 10 percent growth at constant exchange for 2008.

For complete coverage, see Friday’s WWD.

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