France’s Hermes bags luxurious profits

Paris / AFP

French luxury goods group Hermes said on Wednesday that net profit rose to skim the billion-euro mark last year despite an economic slowdown in China, the Paris terror attacks and currency fluctuations.
Hermes, known for its leather handbags such as the Birkin named for the British singer and its silk square scarves, posted growth across the regions last year, led by Japan, it said. Net profit jumped more than 13 percent to €973 million after the company rung up sales of 4.8 billion euros, an eight-percent increase from a year earlier once currency fluctuations were stripped out.
Operating profit also soared 19 percent to €1.5 billion.
The company faced heavier tax charges due to a three-percent levy on dividends linked to the payment of a one-off additional dividend last year, it said.

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