Aug 30 - French luxury group Hermès beat forecasts, posting a 14 per cent rise in first-half operating profit, thanks to strong demand for its silk accessories and handbags - some of which sell for up to 30,000 euro. Ciara Sutton reports.
Defying tough economic times, French luxury group Hermès has yet again posted a rise in sales. It says the forecast-beating 14 percent rise in first-half profit is thanks to strong demand for its leather and silk accessories. The maker of Birkin and Kelly bags - costing up to 30,000 euros each - says operating profit is over 584 million euros . Last month, Hermès reported a 16 percent rise in second-quarter sales, up over 3 percent from the first quarter. It predicts full-year sales growth will also exceed targets. While Europe's economic woes are far from over, demand in the region remained robust. And Hermès continues to enjoy healthy demand from Asia, particularly its Chinese market. Shares rose over 3 per cent on the news.