REPORT The consolidated turnover for the first semester reached 2, 299 million euros (2,593 million dollars), an increase of 21percent at current exchange rates. Excluding consideration of the positive currency impact, the growth amounts to 9 percent. The operating income was up 20 percent and amounted to 32.5 percent of sales and net income reached 483 million euros (544.9 million dollars).
All regions report growth at the end of June
In the first semester, the turnover increased in all regions of the world. Revenues in Japan increased 20 percent generating an excellent performance over the first six months of the year. In Asia excluding Japan, turnover improved over 7 percent, maintaining its dynamism, despite the difficult context in Hong Kong and Macau. In America, with over 10 rise, where the enlarged and renovated Seattle store reopened in June, the development potential has been confirmed. Europe reported over 7 percent increase generating a good performance in the Group's stores.
The growth of leather goods and saddlery was over 14 percent. Its development was supported by the ramp-up of the production capacities of the two new sites that opened in Charente and in Isère in June, as well as by the construction project for two new production units in Franche-Comté. The ready-to-wear and accessories division reported 8 percent growth and benefited from the success of its latest collections, notably in fashion accessories.
The silk & textiles business line improved 5 percent, while growing within a more difficult context in Greater China. Perfumes that in the first half of 2014 benefited from the launches of Jour d'Hermès absolu and Terre d'Hermès eau très fraîche, improved by 4 percent. Watches declined slightly within a general environment of a downturn in the watchmaking industry. The other Hermès business lines including jewellery, Art of Living and Hermès tableware witnessed an improvement of 12 percent.
Operating income rose 20 percent
Operating income grew 20 percent to 748 million euros (844.1 million dollars) compared to 621 million euros (700.5 million dollars) in the first half of 2014. Despite the dilutive impact of currency fluctuations, operational profitability remained high at 32.5 percent of sales, close to the level reached at the end of June 2014 at 32.6 percent of sales. Group consolidated net income amounted to 483 million euros (545.1 million dollars), representing 21percent of sales.
Despite economic, geopolitical and monetary uncertainties around the world, the Group is maintaining its medium-term objective of increasing the turnover at constant rates in the area of 8 percent. For 2015, operational profitability is expected to be lower than 2014 owing to the negative impact of currency fluctuations.