20 February 2023

Italy’s La Conceria reports that there are those who manage to be immune to any crisis, uncertainty, economic hesitation. This someone is Hermès. Certain numbers, just published by the French maison and referring to 2022, are enough to have the most bombastic demonstration. Last year, the label created around 2,100 new jobs, employing 19,700 people, including 12,400 in France. At the end of February, all employees will receive a bonus of 4,000 euros equal to an additional investment of almost 79 million euro. The bonus stems from the “extraordinary” financial results obtained in 2022. Here they are: turnover has reached 11.6 billion euros: +29% at current exchange rates and +23% at constant exchange rates compared to 2021. The Leathergoods & Saddlery division went from 4 to 5 billion euros in one year: +16% at constant exchange rates. Not only that: net income increased by 38% to 3.4 billion euros.

Hermès immunity

While luxury rivals, starting with Gucci, had a tough last quarter in China amid rising infections, Hermès sales in Asia grew 25% (excluding Japan) between October and December 2022. CEO Axel Dumas told analysts that the company ” continues to see strong desirability in China ” and that Chinese customers have reported strong demand for its products over the New Year. The same goes for the US market. While rivals have seen a slowdown, with local consumers shopping in Europe, Hermès has grossed 41% more than in the last quarter of 2021.

Stronger than Covid

“Hermes overcame the Covid-related problems in the fourth quarter of 2022 and produced a very solid result,” comments Luca Solca, an analyst at Bernstein (source Reuters ). In fact, from October to December 2022, overall sales increased by 23% to 2.99 billion euros, exceeding analysts’ expectations of +17% (source Visible Alpha). The Leathergoods & Saddlery division grew 25% in the quarter, also beating estimates.

Hiring and investments

In 2022, Hermès’ recurring operating profitability reached a record 40.5%, up from 39.3% in 2021. The brand said it had hired 4,300 employees in the last three years, including 2,900 in France, to have other hiring plans this year and, since 2020, to have made operational investments totaling 1.5 billion euros, of which around 60% in France.

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