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Hermes To Pay Special Dividend As Profit Climbs 41% - Update


French fashion house Hermes International S.C.A. announced a special dividend, after the company's profit increased 41 percent in 2011, with double-digit sales growth in most regions and businesses.

The proposed special dividend of 5 euros per share is in addition to a regular dividend of 2 euros per share.

For 2011, consolidated net income-group share increased to 594.3 million euros from 421.7 million euros. The latest results included a 29.5 million euros gain from the disposal of the company's stake in the Jean-Paul Gaultier Group. Net income has now doubled from 288.8 million euros reported in 2009.

Operating income for the year climbed 32.5 percent to 885.2 million euros. Operating margin improved 3.4 points to 31.2 percent.

The maker of Kelly bags said sales revenue increased 18.3 percent to 2.84 billion euros. The company's own stores saw a 19 percent growth in sales while wholesale sales rose 15 percent.

In Europe, sales increased 16 percent, thanks to momentum in all countries. Revenue increased 26 percent in America and 29 percent in Asia, excluding Japan.

The Silk & Textiles business saw a sales growth of 23 percent, owing partly to the success of the new collections. Perfumes witnessed a 16 percent improvement in sales, while watches and jewellery saw increases of 23 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

The company opened thirteen branches during the year and converted four concessionaries, which strengthened its distribution network.

The 175-year-old company was recently speculated to be a takeover target of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (LVMUY.PK,LVMHF.PK) after the luxury goods maker piled up a 22.4 percent stake holding. Family owners of Hermes created a new capital structure in December 2011, when the speculation became strong.

The stock fell 1.69 percent in Paris to close at 244.25 euros on a volume of 64,997 shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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