It seems the rich continue to spend – luxury group goods Hermes said the year had started very well and it expected that to trend to continue.
The French firm had just announced a 44 percent rise in operating profit for 2010, boosted by tourist shoppers in Europe and buoyant sales in Asia.
Earnings rose to 668 million euros from 463 million euros the year before.
Net profit at the maker of 10,000 euro leather handbags and silk scarves rose 46 percent to 422 million.
Chief Executive Patrick Thomas said he expected 2011 to be another good year but with less speculator growth as in 2010, which saw a strong rebound after the 2009 slump.
“It (current trading) is going very well but it is difficult to bounce back (again) after such an exceptional year,” Thomas said.
He predicted sales growth this year of about two to three percent in Japan, Hermes’ biggest market, boosted by the company’s investments and concessions it repurchased.
Thomas said Hermes still had not had any contact with its arch-rival and biggest shareholder LVMH which built up a 20.2 percent stake.
“It is a shareholder which is more than dormant and we do not plan to have any contact with it,” Thomas said.