Luxury goods group Hermes posts higher second quarter sales

FILE PHOTO: Models present creations by French designer Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski as part of her Autumn/Winter 2018/2019 women's ready-to-wear collection for fashion house Hermes, during Fashion Week in Paris, France, March 3, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Luxury handbag maker Hermes International HRMS.PA reported that sales in the second quarter had grown faster than in the previous three-months, lifted by strong demand in China.

The maker of Birkin handbags, which are worth more than a small car, said sales revenue rose 7.2 percent to 1.46 billion euros ($1.70 billion) for the three months through June.

Sales rose 12 percent at constant exchange rates, up from 11 percent during the previous quarter. Analysts expected a 10 percent increase.

Sales in China kept on growing at a double-digit rate as in the past years, Chief Executive Axel Dumas told reporters.

The company said it expects operating profitability in the first half of this year to be close to the record level reached in the first half of 2017.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta