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Hermes posts glittering results driven by Asia sales

French luxury goods group Hermes on Thursday posted record profits in 2013 as sales of its bags and scarves showed little sign of slowing, especially in China. Net profits rose by 6.8 percent last year to 790 million euros ($1.1 billion) on a 7.8-percent gain in sales to 3.8 billion, the group said in a statement. Operating profits rose by 8.9 percent to 1.22 billion, roughly in line with analysts' expectations. Sales growth was strongest in Asia (minus Japan), which posted a 16-percent gain, and the United States (up 14 percent).

Hermes luxury sales dazzle, despite graft drive in China

French luxury group Hermes achieved record sales last year, and said on Thursday its scarves and handbags flew off the shelves in China despite a clampdown on ostentatious spending there. Overall sales last year rose by 7.8 percent to exceed 3.75 billion euros ($5.13 billion) for the first time, and the group said it would soon raise its prices. And in China the company pushed sales up by nearly 20.0 percent before allowance for exchange rates. The one exception was sales of Hermes watches which suffered in China.

Spotlight shines on London for fashion talent, digital outreach

By Li-mei Hoang LONDON (Reuters) - London Fashion Week will showcase the British capital's reputation for creativity and digital innovation when it opens on Friday, amid signs the global luxury market is strengthening. Fashion favorites such as Burberry, Paul Smith and Tom Ford will vie with edgy youth labels Christopher Kane, Peter Pilotto and Simone Rocha in catwalk shows and presentations.

Luxury consumers to spend 880 billion euros a year by 2020: study

MILAN (Reuters) - Luxury goods consumers around the world will spend 880 billion euros ($1.2 trillion) on personal items and experiences like holidays a year in 2020, 20 percent more than is spent on such goods today, a study said on Tuesday. There are currently 380 million luxury goods consumers and this number is set to rise to 440 million in 2020, according to a study conducted by Italian luxury goods association Altagamma and consultancy Boston Consulting Group.

Procter & Gamble second-quarter profit falls; sales up slightly

(Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co <PG.N>, the world's largest household products maker, reported lower quarterly profit on Friday, hurt by unfavorable currency movements and lower gross profit margin. The maker of Pampers diapers and Tide detergent left its 2014 sales growth forecast unchanged. It still expects organic sales, which strip out the impact of currency changes as well as acquisitions and divestitures, to rise 3 percent to 4 percent, and core earnings to rise 5 percent to 7 percent.

European stocks rally on bright World Bank outlook

European stocks rose on Wednesday as the World Bank declared the global economy was at a turning point, while the luxury goods sector was boosted by sparkling results from Burberry. Sentiment was also bolstered by solid German economic growth data, which propelled Frankfurt's DAX 30 up 2.03 percent to a new record close of 9,733.81 points. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.78 percent to end the day at 6,819 points and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 1.35 percent to 4,332.07 points, which beat its record close in 2013.

Luxury consumer base to keep growing: study

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of luxury goods buyers reached 330 million last year and is set to rise to 400 million in 2020 and 500 million by 2030 as more people become wealthy in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, a study has found. The Bain & Co report, in collaboration with broker Redburn Partners and research agency Millward Brown, forecast that the luxury consumer base would grow by an average 10 million people a year.

China's graft crackdown hits watches, luxury market

Luxury watch sales fell in the key Chinese market this year in the face of a crackdown on corruption and extravagance, a global consultancy said. Watches account for over one fifth of China's domestic luxury market and dropped by 11 percent to 27 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) in 2013, Bain & Company said in a report. China's luxury market has boomed in recent years on the back of its economic rise, but overall sales grew a mere two percent this year to 116 billion yuan, it said, a shadow of the 30 percent growth recorded in 2011.

China shoppers ring luxury tills from London to New York

By Adam Jourdan and Phil Wahba SHANGHAI/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fang Ying's December wish list of Louis Vuitton handbags and Chanel perfume is not only for Christmas. Fang, 33, a secretary working in Shanghai, writes one every month for friends and family travelling abroad. Fang is not alone. Over two-thirds of luxury spending by mainland Chinese was made overseas in 2013, an increase from 2012, according to the China Luxury Market Study from consultancy firm Bain & Company released on Monday.

India luxury sales to cross $10 billion helped by 'closet consumers'

India's nascent luxury market is set to accelerate next year, crossing the $10-billion mark, boosted by a new breed of wealthy "closet" consumers whose spending power is increasing, a report released Tuesday said. Luxury sales will climb by an annual 17 percent in 2014 to top the $10-billion mark, up from estimated 14 percent growth in 2013, market researchers IMRB and the Confederation of Indian Industry projected.
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