Hermès had an “exceptional” year with a better than expected 23 per cent jump in quarterly sales as demand in China for the French luxury group’s Birkin bags and leather goods surged.
Sales in the three months to December rose to nearly €3bn, pushing overall revenue for the year to €11.6bn, from €8.98bn the previous year. Full-year profit rose 38 per cent to €3.4bn. Analysts had forecast a 17 per cent fourth-quarter sales gain.
“Hermès had an exceptional year thanks notably to the good performance of its international markets,” Axel Dumas, executive chair of Hermès, said in a statement on Friday.
Chinese buyers, even as Covid-19 struck again and prompted stringent lockdowns in the fourth quarter, helped boost sales in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, by about 25 per cent.
Luxury rivals such as Kering were buffeted by Beijing-imposed restrictions to halt the spread of the virus but Hermès and its handbags and high-end leather goods proved popular with Chinese consumers.
The group confirmed “an ambitious goal” for revenue growth in the “medium term”, it said in a statement on Friday.