Hermes 1st half results hit by pandemic, sales picking up

French luxury group Hermes said on Thursday, July 30, the coronavirus pandemic hit profits in the 1st half of the year, but expressed confidence about the future as business began picking up in June.

Net profits plunged 55% to 335 million euros ($394 million) while its operational profitability fell to 21.5% of revenue against 34.8% a year earlier, a statement said.

Sales stood 2.48 billion euros, in line with the analyst consensus forecasts compiled by Factset and Bloomberg.

"This unprecedented crisis, which began at the start of the year and is still ongoing, allows us to test our business model’s strength," Hermes executive chairman Axel Dumas said. 

"We have to weather the storm, but we are well equipped," he added.

Dumas said Hermes had "preserved jobs and maintained the basic salaries of its employees worldwide without having recourse to the exceptional governmental subsidies provided in various countries.

"The loyal clients, desirable collections, agile omnichannel network, and independence of the group are the pillars that give us confidence in the future and will support our recovery."

Hermes said sales had picked up from June and that it was able to reopen all its outlets in China – a major market where the COVID-19 pandemic began – in March, adding that there was "strong growth."

The group said it was financially solid and had enough cash reserves, adding that the midterm aim was to see turnover rise progressively at ambitious targets. – Rappler.com