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Hermes 2011 Sales Beat Estimates Led by Revenue From Americas

Hermes International SCA (RMS), the French maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves, reported full-year sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates and said operating margin will exceed 30 percent.

Revenue climbed 18 percent to 2.84 billion euros ($3.78 billion) in 2011, the Paris-based company said today in a statement. That compares with the 2.81 billion-euro average of 16 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales growth was driven by the Americas and Asia excluding Japan, Hermes said.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC), the luxury-goods maker which owns a 22.4 percent stake in Hermes, has said it sees no sign that a softening economic climate is causing a slowdown in Europe. Hermes isn’t too worried about the fallout from the region’s debt crisis as it has more orders than it can fulfill, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Thomas has said.

“Hermes will continue to invest in developing its production capacity and its distribution network, with the opening or renovation of some 15 branches” in 2012, the company said in a statement today.

Hermes will pay a dividend of 1.50 euros a share on March 1, the company said.

Hermes, whose revenue gains have been hampered by capacity constraints, plans to build two leather factories in France in 2012 to cope with surging demand. This year’s sales growth in the Americas, Hermes second-fastest expanding market, will at least match 2011’s pace, CEO Thomas said in December.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net

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