May 3, 2018 / 6:11 AM / 18 days ago

Strong Chinese sales boost luxury handbag maker Hermes in Q1

PARIS, May 3 (Reuters) - Luxury handbag specialist Hermes on Thursday reported a pick-up in the pace of sales in the first quarter, boosted like peers by strong appetite from Chinese shoppers and brisk business in the United States.

The maker of $10,000-plus Birkin bags said revenue rose 3 percent to 1.39 billion euros ($1.67 billion) for the January to March period.

Sales were up 11 percent at constant exchange rates, ahead of analysts’ forecasts for growth of around 9 percent.

Currency swings, and particularly a strong euro, had a 104 million euros negative effect on sales in the period, Hermes said in a statement.

“This was a strong start,” Chief Executive Axel Dumas told journalists, adding that the drag from currency fluctuations should ease later in the year.

$1 = 0.8345 euros Reporting by Sarah White and Pascale Denis; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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