Hermes sees 10 percent growth in 2012 - paper

Mon Dec 5, 2011 6:29am EST

* CEO "confident" and optimistic" for Q4

* Cautious estimate of 10 percent growth in 2012

ZURICH Dec 5 (Reuters) - French luxury goods group Hermes expects sales growth of 10 percent next year, with trends in the current quarter broadly in line with the rest of the year, its chief executive told a Swiss newspaper in an interview published on Monday.

"For 2012 we can bank on, being cautious, growth of 10 percent, as long as there is no major recession in the world," Patrick Thomas told Le Temps.

Last month, Hermes raised its full-year sales forecast to between 15 and 16 percent, reflecting strong demand in Asia, Europe and America, up from a previous forecast of 12 to 14 percent.

Thomas said he was "optimistic" and "confident" for the fourth quarter. "In general, everything is going along very well for us on the same basis," he said.

Thomas said consumers tended to favour strong brands such as Hermes in times of economic uncertainty as they regarded such products as long-term investments they can pass on to their children.

Shares in Hermes were down 2.4 percent by 1119 GMT, underperforming a flat European personal and household goods index. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Astrid Wendlandt and David Holmes)

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