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Watch sales drop at Hermès in Q1

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Watch sales dropped 7.1% in the first quarter at Hermès as the brand was hit by a slowdown in China.

In the three months to March 2013, watch sales at Hermes hit €34.5 million (£29.5m), down from €37.1 million (£31.8m) in the same period in 2012.

The decline is watch sales came against a more positive backdrop for the brand as a whole. Total sales at Hermès were up 10.3% to €856.8 million (£733.8m) in the first quarter.

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Hermès said that watch sales were adversely affected by a slowdown in the Chinese market in the beginning of the year and by tough 2012 comparables; watch sales in the first quarter in 2012 had delivered an uplift of 27%.

Sales in Europe were up 11.6% to €306.1 million (£262.1m), despite what Hermès termed "a very high basis of comparison and a dull economic climate" in the region.

The Asia Pacific area delivered the highest year-on-year growth and regional turnover, up 17.7% to €292 million (£250m).

Hermès said that sales through its own boutiques "continued to expand briskly", up 13.6% at constant exchange rates. Its wholesale division also enjoyed a strong first quarter with sales up 9.9%.

A forward-looking statement from the brand read: "Hermès will continue to follow its strategy based on creativity, maintaining control over its know-how, expanding its distribution network, strengthening its production capacity and safeguarding its sources of supply.

"With its new theme of the year A sporting life!, Hermès is resolutely focusing on energy and optimism in 2013. Since its origins, the house has been tapping the sports universe to feed its passion for movement, casual elegance and excellence. For Hermès, sport rises above obsession with performance; it is spirit, style and pleasure above all, and its spark ignites our collections as never before."

Hermès will exhibit at BaselWorld this week where it will officially launch new collections including the Arceau Petite Lune moon phases timepiece that has been created to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its iconic Arceau model.

 

 

 

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