Strong Asia pushes Hermes sales up 16% in fourth quarter

MILAN, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Sales at Birkin bag maker Hermes recovered sharply in the fourth quarter to grow by 16% thanks to a strong performance in Asia and soaring online revenues, the group said on Friday.

Sales rose by 47% in Asia in the October-December period, with China, South Korea and Australia driving the rebound.

In the whole of 2020, revenues at constant exchange rates declined by just 6% to 6.39 billion euros, one of the best performances in the luxury goods sector which has been hit hard by store closures and the lack of tourist flows due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The absence of tourists was offset by the loyalty of our local customers and a strong increase in online sales,” Hermes’ executive chairman Axel Dumas told reporters.

He declined to elaborate on what proportion of overall sales had taken place online but said e-commerce had grown by 100% or more in all regions.

Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Giulia Segreti