Luxury spending boosts Hermes

French luxury goods group Hermes saw a better-than-expected improvement in trading in the second quarter, helped by consumers’ crisis-proof appetite for its elegant handbags and stronger perfumes sales. Hermes said yesterday that it still expects full-year sales to remain flat and operating profit to fall slightly, which investors interpreted as too conservative but in line with the company’s spirit of traditional guidance. The group posted a 3.9 per cent rise in second-quarter sales to ¤446.6m (£386m).