French company Hermès, best know for its Birkin bag, reported first-half of year sales and earnings today and results beat expectations. Growth was strongest in Asia (ex-Japan) and the Americas where sales were up 17% for both. In the announcement, it maintained sales expectations for the second-half of the year. The stock traded 3 percent higher on the news, bringing the gain this year to 13 percent.
January-June sales would have been even higher, but according to the company, growth was held back by production capacity. In the press release, Hermès stated that it has 10,604 employees with 486 new jobs created in the first half of the year, added in an effort to strengthen the sales team and increase production capacities. Hermès also said it plans to address the issue by adding two facilities in France devoted to “artisanal activities.”
The image above shows sales by segment for 2012 versus 2011. As well known as the company is for bags, ready to wear and accessories make up a significant chunk of sales.
No doubt, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which now owns 23.1 percent of Hermès, was happy with the results. On that note, how weird must it be for Hermès to be making money hand over fist for a company it appears to despise with every inch of its being.