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May 10, 2010

WBull: Hermes sales up 19% 1Q10

By Spear's

French high-end fashion house Hermes International Thursday said first-quarter sales jumped 19%, the latest luxury purveyor to unveil a strong rebound after last year’s sales were smacked by the economic crisis.

French high-end fashion house Hermes International Thursday said first-quarter sales jumped 19%, the latest luxury purveyor to unveil a strong rebound after last year’s sales were smacked by the economic crisis. Hermes, whose Kelly bags and silk scarves are luxury classics, said sales totaled 508 million euros ($651.3 million) in the first three months of the year, compared with 472 million euros a year earlier.

Hermes’ forecast-beating numbers capped a dynamic start to the year for luxury. Industry leader LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the maker of Louis Vuitton handbags and Veuve Clicquot champagne, last month reported an 11% surge in first-quarter sales.

Big brands such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Gucci have performed better than smaller fashion houses over the recession and the recovery. Experts say consumers are more convinced by historic, well-established labels than by relative newcomers. Indeed, sustained demand for Hermes’ classic hand-stitched leather bags and scarves helped it weather the crisis. Consumers of luxury goods developed a preference for classic items over more flashy accessories during the recession.

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