POSH GOODS BOOST SALES AT HERMES

FRENCH luxury goods group Hermes has posted a 20.7 per cent rise in first-quarter sales at constant exchange rates, driven by surging demand for its watches and leather goods in Europe and Asia. Overall, Hermes sales in the three months to 31 March rose 25.5 per cent to €637.1m (£541m). The maker of silk scarves and €10,000 crocodile leather handbags said sales in Japan, its biggest foreign market, were flat and reiterated its forecast for full-year sales growth of eight to ten per cent.