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Strong Asia growth powers Hermes sales in Q1

MILAN, April 22 (Reuters) - Sales at Birkin bag maker Hermes soared 44% in the first quarter, powered by strong growth in Asia, where revenues nearly doubled from a year earlier as COVID-19 restrictions eased and shops reopened.

The French luxury group, which has weathered the coronavirus pandemic better than rivals, said revenues at constant exchange rates came in at 2.08 billion euros ($2.50 billion) in the three months to March, beating analyst expectations for a 24% increase.

Sales in Asia excluding Japan surged 94% over the period, with growth in China especially significant. ($1 = 0.8309 euros) (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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