French luxury house Hermes has raised its full-year sales target on the back of strong third-quarter growth.

The company today (4 November) reported that it now expects sales to be 15-16% higher than the previous year, but said meeting the target will be "highly contingent on the business sectors' ability to meet stepped-up demand ahead of the year-end holiday season". At the end of August it was forecasting a rise of 12-14%.

Hermes also expects operating margin to be "slightly higher than the record level achieved in 2010.

For the third-quarter to 30 September, revenue grew 20.2% at constant exchange rates to EUR1.9bn. Own-store sales "remained solid", up 19.1% at constant exchange rates, which Hermes said came "in spite of a high comparison basis."

The company added that the "remarkable growth trend" in the Americas and in non-Japan Asia persisted in the third-quarter - leading to a rise of 30% and 32% respectively over the nine-month period. In France, sales were up 15%, while other European countries booked 20% sales growth.