During the second quarter, sales growth was 21.9% at current exchange rates. Despite the very high basis of comparison, sales continued to expand briskly both in the Group's own stores and in the wholesale channels.
Sales by sector and region
In the first half of 2012, all regions registered growth:
All business sectors registered increases, underpinned by the excellence of the group’s know-how and a steady stream of new creations.
In Leatherwork & Saddlery, which continues to invest in expanding production capacity, sales continued to rise (up 10%).
Ready-to-wear & Fashion Accessories (up 21%) registered strong growth owing to the success of the spring-summer ready-to-wear collections and to fashion accessories.
Silk & Textiles delivered growth of 15%, driven by the sector's lavish collections.
Perfumes (up 13%) remained on an uptrend due to the success of Terre d’Hermès and to the introduction of Voyage d’Hermès perfume during the first quarter.
The Watch sector reaped the fruit of its ongoing investments in know-how, and jumped by 23%.
Other Hermès Sectors (Jewellery and Art of Living) turned in a remarkable performance in the first half (up 50%).
As of end of June, currency fluctuations were favourable and had produced a positive impact of € 85 million on revenue.
During the first half, Hermès International continued to buy back shares for its employee share ownership schemes. The company bought back 89 582 shares for €21 million. At 30 June, it held 1 457 682 shares worth a total of €310 million, excluding shares covered by a liquidity contract. Most of these shares were purchased in connection with bonus share plans awarded to employees.
First-half results will be published on 31 August 2012. Recurring operating income is expected to increase in line with revenue growth.
Outlook for 2012
It is difficult to make projections for the full year 2012 owing to uncertainties over the economic outlook and currency fluctuations.
However, given the sales performance in the first half, the group stands by its target for consolidated revenue growth of 10% over the full year at constant exchange rates. The underlying operating margin is expected to be between 2010 and the all-time high achieved in 2011.
During the second half, Hermès will continue to follow its strategy of expanding the distribution network, reinforcing production capacity and securing control over sourcing.
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