Hermes lands Forbes most innovative retailers list, reports strong performance

After making it to this year’s Forbes list of the 100 Most Innovative Companies in the world French design house Hermes reported on Friday an 8.1 percent increase in the first half of 2014 Raking in 1.9 billion Euros (about $2.5 billion) in sales.

The luxury scarves and Birkin handbags maker seems to have stepped out ahead of some top competitors in the first half of the year largely due to strong sales in Asia. Asia overall saw 17 percent sales growth, with the U.S. following at 13 percent and Europe at 7 percent.

The operating profit in absolute numbers rose by 6.5 percent to 621 million euros, which was slightly better than expected by analysts polled by Bloomberg who had forecast on average a figure of 617 million euros. The company said that it had experienced a slight erosion of its margin in the first half of the year from the equivalent figure last year to 32.6 percent from a record 33.1 percent, mainly because of the effect of unfavorable currency factors.

Among the categories it has to offer its ready-to-wear collections and fashion accessories have seen a 16 percent increase in sales. Attributed to the new production sites in France that opened in 2012, the brand also saw a 13 percent increase in leather goods sales. Watch sales, on the other hand, saw a 7 percent decrease.

While Hermes has outpaced leading giant French luxury groups LVMH and Kering on the fashion stage the company has set a goal of 10 percent sales growth by the end of 2014. In June 2014 The French luxury fashion house named Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski, as artistic director of women’s wear, following the departure of Christophe Lemaire, who had been the women’s wear artistic director since 2010. Vanhee-Cybulski will take up her position at Hermes after the October fashion show season for 2015 spring/summer women’s wear.