• Q1 sales up 18.5% to EUR507.7m
  • Own store growth rise of 26%
  • Silks and textiles up 17%

Hermes International has posted first quarter sales up 18.5% at current exchange rates to EUR507.7m (US$649.3m).

Hermes says its own stores recorded "particularly robust" growth of 26%, driven by strong performance across all sectors.

Wholesale revenues, which were hit by distributor inventory drawdowns last year, rose 4%.

Quarterly sales rose 15% in France and Europe, while the Americas increased 25% after "the rebound initiated in the fourth quarter of 2009 continued," the company says.

Growth was spurred by the success of the first Hermès store dedicated to men on Madison Avenue in New York which opened in February.

Excluding Japan, the group's stores in Asia saw sales rise 47%. Japanese figures dropped 2%, however.

Silks & textiles grew 17% driven by the new women's silk collections, while  sales advanced by 19% for ready-to-wear and fashion accessories.

Hermès says it will continue to expand in 2010, although it adds: "First-quarter sales growth cannot be extrapolated to the full year owing to the more favourable basis of comparison with the same year-ago period and to persistent economic uncertainties."

There are plans to open and renovate around 20 branches, including the new store on rue de Sèvres in Paris by the end of the year.

For full details of Hermes' Q1 results click here