French luxury goods maker Hermes on Thursday posted
record results, buoyed by strong demand for its high-end handbags and
silk scarfs across all regions, including crisis-hit Europe.
Net profits in 2012 rose 24.5 per cent year-on-year to 740 million euros (955 billion dollars), the company reported. Revenues were up 22.6 per cent at 3.5 billion euros while operating profit rose 26.4 per cent to 1.12 billion euros.
The company said its operating margin of 32.1 per cent of sales was its highest since Hermes listed on the French stock exchange in 1993.
Growth was strongest in Asia, where sales outside Japan grew by 25 per cent, but sales in Europe were also strong, up 15 per cent despite the eurozone being mired in a debt crisis.
For decades Hermes handbags have adorned the arms of the rich and famous, including the late princess Grace of Monaco, and British singer and actress Jane Birkin, both of whom have Hermes bags named after them.
Hermes employs around 10,000 people worldwide, 6,000 of them in France.
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