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Hermès sales growth slows in third quarter

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Sales growth at French luxury group Hermès softened in the third quarter, in line with the broader change of pace in the luxury industry but still beating market expectations. 

The maker of Birkin handbags said sales rose 15.6 per cent in the three months to the end of September to €3.36bn, much slower than growth of 27.5 per cent in the second quarter and 23 per cent in the first.

However, it beat consensus expectations of 14 per cent growth compiled by Visible Alpha.

Industry leader LVMH reported a slower pace of sales growth earlier in the month, signalling a widely expected slowdown in growth for the luxury industry as the shine came off a three-year boom.

“More than ever, in an uncertain global environment, we are reinforcing our investments and our teams to support growth,” said Hermès executive chair Axel Dumas. “The solid performance in the third quarter reflects the desirability of our collections all over the world, with still a sustained momentum in Asia and in the Americas.”

Revenue growth remained in the double digits across all regions, although they were weakest in Asia excluding Japan — which Hermès said was largely due to the high comparable figures from the previous year due to “exceptional” growth following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in China.

Carol Madjo at Barclays said: “These trends notably contrast with the rest of the sector that is mostly seeing negative growth in the Americas and a significant slowdown in Europe.”

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