Hermes in 52 per cent profit jump

French luxury goods group Hermes has posted a 52 per cent rise in first-half operating profit, boosted by leather goods, and slightly raised its financial targets for the full year.

Profit rose to 304.5m euros (£250.6m) in the first six months of the year from 199.8m euros a year ago, Hermes said.

Net profit rose 55 per cent to 195 million euros.

Hermes, known for its printed silks and 10,000 euros leather handbags, said it expected its full-year operating margin to improve by at least one percentage point, whilst sales at constant exchange rates could rise 12 per cent.

Hermes last month raised its full-year sales growth target to 10 to 12 per cent from five per cent after second-quarter sales beat its own expectations and predicted a one point rise in its margin.

The luxury goods industry, whose revenues fell eight per cent last year according to US consultants Bain & Co, is crawling out of its worst downturn in decades, buoyed by travelling shoppers from emerging markets.