February 8, 2017 / 8:56 AM / 3 years ago

France's Hermes keeps goals after fourth-quarter sales rise 6.6 percent

A Hermes sign is seen on one of their stores in Paris, France, March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French luxury goods group Hermes (HRMS.PA) said on Wednesday that sales growth rose 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter, at constant exchange rates, coming close to market expectations.

Fourth quarter sales reached 1.505 billion euros ($1.60 billion), with growth slowing from 8.8 percent in the third quarter. This compared with analysts’ expectations of 7.1 percent growth.

Hermes, known for its $10,000 Birkin bags and $400 printed silk scarves, said the improvement was driven mainly by its leather goods division, while other divisions also performed well although its watches unit fared slightly less better.

The group kept its forecast for a full year 2016 operating margin being slightly higher than 2015’s 31.8 percent of sales.

Hermes added it was keeping an “ambitious” medium-term goal for revenue growth at constant exchange rates, despite growing economic and geopolitical uncertainties around the world.

($1 = 0.9377 euros)

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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