Hermès reported a strong first half of 2016 on Thursday, despite seeing continued decline in the ready-to-wear and fashion accessories division. But thanks in large part to growth in leather goods and saddlery, as usual, the French luxury brand saw sales increase by 7.2 percent at constant exchange rates. It brought the company to €2,440 million (about $2.7 million) in total revenue for the year so far.
The leather goods and saddlery division was up by 16.7 percent, and the company attributed that growth not only to the iconic and exclusive Birkin and Kelly bags, but also to three lesser-known mainstays: the Constance, Halzan and Lindy, which all range in price from about $5,000 to $10,000. "The development was supported by the sustained pace of production and the increase in capacities at the three sites in Charente, Isère and Franche-Comté," said the company in a statement. Perfumes are the next best category, growing by 3.7 percent so far this year with the help of new launches Eau de néroli doré and Eau de rhubarbe écarlate.
Despite Hermès's increased investment in the collections of women’s ready-to-wear artistic director Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski, the division (which also includes men's) continues to see declines. Sales dropped by 1.7 percent in the first half of the year, and 1.5 percent in the second quarter ending June 30. In it's report, Hermès said the decline is "in contrast with the success of the latest women's ready-to-wear and shoe collections." It appears that success has yet to translate at the cash register.
A full half-year report will be released in September.