Hermès continues to see strong demand in Asia, despite the sharp drop in tourism to Hong Kong as a consequence of several months of violent protests against a controversial extradition bill.
“I don’t see any reversal in trend in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan,” Hermès CEO Axel Dumas said on Wednesday after the French luxury firm reported strong first-half earnings growth. Sales in the region were up 18.6% at constant exchange rates in the second quarter.
Tourist arrivals in Hong Kong fell nearly 40% in August versus the same period last year, following a 5% drop in July, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said in a blog post on Sunday. That represents the biggest monthly decline since the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Dumas said the protests had forced some of the company’s seven Hong Kong stores to close sporadically, especially in the Central District, where it opened a new three-story flagship last year. Nonetheless, he said the brand was buffered by the desirability of its products and the fact that it has a strong local client base.
Hermès Net Profit $832 Million in H1
As Protests Continue, Hong Kong Retail Market Looks Gloomy