Recurring operating income amounted to 34.5 percent of sales, up 0.2 point, the Paris-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Analysts predicted 34.4 percent, based on the median estimate compiled by Bloomberg News.
Investors in the luxury sector are watching closely to see if a China-driven boom will drift to a soft landing or if wallets will snap abruptly closed. In July, Hermes reported that first-half sales rose 13 percent in Asia at constant exchange rates despite a rout in the Shanghai stock exchange and concerns about a trade war with the U.S.
“There’s not been any change in trend so far,” Chief Executive Officer Axel Dumas said of China on a call with reporters.
Recurring operating income climbed 6 percent to 985 million euros ($1.1 billion) in the first half, “thanks to a particularly sound growth” and favourable currency rates, the company said. Hermes reiterated its goal for revenue growth at constant exchange rates.
Hermes shares climbed 3.4 percent to 552 euros at 9:11 a.m. in Paris. They have returned 28 percent in the past year, compared to a 4 percent return for a Bloomberg Intelligence index of European luxury-goods stocks.
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