CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Interparfums raises margin guidance helped by U.S. sales

(Corrects to show 8.7% margin expected by analysts, paragraph 4)

Jan 26 (Reuters) - French perfume maker Interparfums on Tuesday raised its 2020 operating margin guidance on the back of strong full-year sales, boosted by a strong second half, particularly in the United States.

The group, which develops fragrances from creation to distribution for more than 10 luxury brands including Montblanc, Coach and Jimmy Choo, now expects its operating margin to exceed 11%, after it had seen it reaching around 7% to 8%.

“Our responsiveness and the effectiveness of the measures we adopted in the spring resulted in sales in the second half much better than expected, bolstered by renewed momentum in the worldwide perfume and cosmetics market starting in July,” CEO Philippe Benacin said.

Interparfums reported full-year sales of 367.4 million euros ($445.6 million). Analysts in a company-provided poll had expected sales of 343.1 million euros and an 8.7% operating margin.

In December, it raised its revenue guidance to exceed 340 million euros, helped by a business rebound through the autumn.

In North America, where Interparfums generates over a third of its annual revenue, it achieved fourth-quarter growth of 16%.

Visibility for the months ahead remains limited, Benacin said, as the recent news flow from France and other markets, facing an increasing possibility of new COVID-19 lockdowns, continue to be a source of concern.

$1 = 0.8245 euros Reporting by Juliette Portala; editing by Tom Hogue and Jason Neely