PARIS — Hermès International reported that second-quarter sales rose 6 percent to 324.3 million euros, or $400.9 million at current exchange.
Sales in the half-year ended June 30 increased 4.6 percent to 649.1 million euros, or $802.4 million. At constant exchange rates, they would have increased 6.2 percent, according to the figures Hermès published Friday in Balo, France’s bulletin of record.
A meeting for financial analysts to discuss the numbers is scheduled for Wednesday.
By region, sales in France rose 3.2 percent at constant exchange to 122.6 million euros, or $151.5 million; 3.5 percent in Europe (excluding France) to 107.1 million euros, or $132.4 million; 10.9 percent in Asia (excluding Japan) to 117.2 million euros, or $144.9 million; 1.7 percent in Japan to 185.7 million euros, or $229.6 million; 14.7 percent in the Americas to 95.3 million euros, or $117.8 million, and 19.9 percent in “other” markets to 21.2 million euros, or $26.2 million.
“The soft spot is Japan,” Merrill Lynch said Monday in a research note, which downgraded the shares of Hermès to “neutral” from “buy.” “While this performance is disappointing at a time when all other players are performing well in Japan, we stress that Hermès sales have grown by 13 percent per annum between 2001 and 2004 in this market. As a result, the company today faces more difficult comps than sector peers, but still has a strong potential in Japan in our view.”
By sector on a like-for-like basis, sales of Hermès silk goods grew 10 percent to 72.6 million euros, or $89.7 million; bags and luggage sales were up 6.3 percent to 263 million euros, or $325.1 million; ready-to-wear and accessories posted a sales increase of 8.8 percent to 136.5 million euros, or $168.7 million, and sales of other products, including jewelry, agendas and small leather goods, dipped 2.9 percent to 57.5 million euros, or $71 million.
In other categories, Hermès fragrance sales spiked 10.7 percent in the half to 33.9 million euros, or $41.9 million; watches posted an uptick of 6.7 percent to 45.4 million euros, or $56.1 million, and the tableware business grew by 5.8 percent to 17.4 million euros, or $21.5 million.