Hermes's Objective for 2010 is to Increase Sales, CEO Patrick Thomas Says

Hermes International SCA’s sales growth accelerated in April and May as the producer of Birkin bags makes increasing revenue its main priority for 2010, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Thomas said.

The improvement from the first quarter’s 19 percent gain should not be extrapolated over the year because of a weak basis of comparison in the first six months of 2009, Thomas said at today’s annual shareholder meeting in Paris. The CEO said in March he expects revenue to increase by at least 5 percent this year, buoyed by women’s apparel.

The euro’s decline against the dollar and the yen won’t have an impact on Hermes’s revenue this year, Thomas said today.

Hermes’s operating margin may widen this year from last year’s 24.2 percent, he said.

Commenting on the outlook for the economy, the CEO said “many questions remain” about 2010.

The 173-year-old company does not intend to grow through acquisitions, Thomas also said. Hermes plans to open 12 stores this year, four of which will be in China, as well as renovate more than 15 boutiques, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36@bloomberg.net.

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