Sales growth at France's Hermes picks up pace in third quarter

PARIS, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Luxury handbag specialist Hermes on Wednesday said comparable sales in the third quarter rose 11.3 percent from a year earlier, with revenues picking up in its smaller perfumes and scarves units while demand from Asia stayed strong.

The French label, famed for its $10,000-plus Kelly and Birkin bags and squared silk scarves, said revenues stood at 1.34 billion euros ($1.55 billion) in the July to September period, a 6.4 percent rise year-on-year on a reported basis.

As year-ago comparables become tougher with a rebound in demand from Chinese consumers in full swing, analysts had forecast that revenue growth would be more muted.

They had expected sales to rise by around 8.5 percent on a like-for-like basis, which strips out currency fluctuations, after an 8.3 percent increase in the second quarter.

Sales growth in Asia, Hermes’ biggest region by revenues, was stable from one quarter to the next, while demand picked up in Europe and in the Americas.

$1 = 0.8629 euros Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta