“There is something very buoyant and very vibrant in the U.S.,” Dumas told WWD on Friday on the sidelines of Hermès’ results presentation, where he trumpeted a 16.5 percent revenue bump in the Americas, only slightly behind the Asia-Pacific region, at 16.9 percent.
“We are just at the beginning of what could be a good trend,” he continued, adding that Hermès’ business in the U.S. has accelerated, particularly in the past five to eight years.
Dumas noted Hermès would not increase the number of U.S. stores, and would focus more on increasing the size of key units, such as the Beverly Hills flagship, which is slated to open today with 12,000 square feet of selling space and a striking marble facade.
Next year, Hermès is slated to open a flagship unit in Miami’s Design District and a location at the Buckhead Atlanta, as reported. It also signed a lease to open in Brookfield Place, formerly known as the World Financial Center, due to open in 2014. RELATED STORY: Hermès Making American Push >>
Luca Solca, luxury goods analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, said he found Dumas’ comparison controversial and noted that luxury expenditure per capita in Asia remains higher than in America, and when it is expressed as a ratio to GDP, Europe and the U.S. “look very similar,” whereas “Asian markets are off the chart.”
At constant exchange rates, first-half sales at Hermès grew 13 percent in France, 14.3 percent in the rest of Europe, 8 percent in Japan and 22.3 percent in other countries.
Meanwhile, Dumas, who is to succeed co-ceo Patrick Thomas later this year or early next, promised “continuity” with the management’s “prudent” approach to business — and its prickly relations with luxury rival LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, its second-largest shareholder after members of the controlling Dumas, Puech and Guerrand families.
He scoffed when asked if Hermès might consider cooperating with LVMH, which in Julyrevealed it had raised its stake in the maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves to 23.1 percent as of June 30, from 22.6 percent as of Dec. 30, 2012.
Asked about revenue trends in July and August, Dumas said they were broadly in line with the first half.
The company reiterated its guidance for 2013 margins, expected to approach the all-time high reached in 2012, and its sales forecast, with the figure expected to “slightly” exceed the mid-term growth target of 10 percent.
Net profits in the half totaled 381.7 million euros, or $501.2 million. Operating profits in the six months to June 30 improved 14.3 percent to total 584.1 million euros, or $767 million.
The company credited a positive impact from its currency hedging for a one-point improvement in its operating margin, which reached 33.1 percent of sales.
Hermès reported revenues last month. In the second quarter, they rose 11.8 percent to 910.4 million euros, or $1.18 billion. In the half, sales gained 11 percent to 1.77 billion euros, or $2.32 billion. Stripping out the impact of currency, the increase stood at 14.4 percent.
Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods in question.
By product category, ready-to-wear and fashion accessories gained 21 percent; perfumes 20 percent; silk and textiles 13 percent, and leather and saddlery 10 percent. Watches slipped 1 percent, reflecting the downturn in the sector and tough comps, Hermès said. Sales of other products — including jewelry and home wares — increased 40 percent.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty