December 21, 2012 / 3:36 PM / in 5 years

Hermes sees 2012 sales up almost 20 pct -CEO in magazine

FRANKFURT, Dec 21 (Reuters) - French luxury goods group Hermes sees 2012 sales up almost 20 percent at 3.4 billion euros ($4.5 billion), helped by demand from China, its chief executive told a German magazine.

China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, is already the Paris-based company’s biggest market: “And that will stay that way for at least the next 50 years,” weekly Der Spiegel cited Patrick Thomas as saying in an excerpt of an interview to be published on Saturday.

Hermes, known for silk scarves and Birkin and Kelly handbags, raised its 2012 sales outlook in November, saying growth at constant exchange rates could exceed 13 percent, compared with a previous forecast of 12 percent.

“In the next five years our annual growth should be above 10 percent,” Thomas told Der Spiegel.

$1 = 0.7555 euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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