April 27, 2017 / 6:08 AM / 3 years ago

Luxury goods group Hermes Q1 sales growth accelerates

PARIS, April 27 (Reuters) - French luxury goods group Hermes said on Thursday that sales growth accelerated in the first quarter, driven by demand from Asian customers, providing further evidence of a broader recovery in the luxury goods industry.

Hermes, known for its $10,000 Birkin bags and $400 printed silk scarves, joined larger rivals LVMH and Kering - owner of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent - in reporting strong quarterly sales.

Hermes struck a tone of caution over its outlook, saying that the growth seen at the end of March could not necessarily be projected to continue over the full year for 2017.

Hermes reported an 11.2 percent rise in revenue at constant exchange rates to 1.352 billion euros ($1.47 billion) compared with 6.6 percent growth in the last quarter of 2016.

The first quarter increase was led by a 15 percent jump in sales at its leather goods division, which makes up 50 percent of group sales, and by a 16 percent rise in Asian sales.

Similar to its peers, Hermes said the improvement was driven by most regions and by a pickup in demand from Asian customers, notably Chinese both locally and abroad. .

Hermes said it was keeping an “ambitious” medium-term goal for revenue growth at constant exchange rates despite growing economic and geopolitical and monetary uncertainties.

$1 = 0.9173 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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