Hermès posts strong sales thanks to surging Chinese demand
French luxury brand Hermès Group, headed by sixth-generation family member Axel Dumas, has posted a strong performance in 2018 on the back of increased demand from Chinese clients.
Last week, the group announced a 10.4% increase in consolidated revenue from the year before, amounting to €5.9 billion ($6.8 billion). The company also posted a 15% increase in net profit reaching €1.4 billion ($1.6 billion) and a further 6% increase in operating income to €2 billion ($2.3 billion) or 34.3% of sales.
The company said revenues in Asia, excluding Japan, were up 14% driven by strong growth in China and in South Asian countries, while revenues in Japan improved 8%.
Meanwhile, revenue from Asia-Pacific in the fourth quarter alone outpaced the previous three months.
Dumas (pictured), executive chairman of Hermès, said in an uncertain global context, he was pleased with the success of the company, which reflected the attractiveness of their collections.
The company said for the year ahead, it has an “ambitious goal” for revenue growth in the medium term despite uncertain economic, geopolitical, and monetary factors around the globe.
CK Hutchinson and CK Asset Holdings post upbeat profit results
CK Hutchinson and CK Asset Holdings, the flagship companies of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing, have posted higher profits in the first set of annual results since his heir Victor Li took over as chairman.
CK Hutchinson, a conglomerate with businesses in retail, container ports, telecommunication, and power plants, announced its net profit has increased 11% to HK$39 billion ($4.97 billion) for the year ending 31 December. Total revenue rose 9% to HK$453 billion ($57.7 billion).
The company said about 57% of the growth came from its Canadian oil and gas unit Husky Energy, with the rest mainly driven by retail and telecommunications.
Meanwhile, CK Asset Holdings, Hong Kong’s second biggest property developer, posted an 18.8% increase in underlying net profit of HK$24.13 ($3 billion) for 2018.
Since becoming chairman last year, Victor Li (pictured) has turned CK Asset Holdings investment focus back to the Hong Kong property market, starting commercial and residential projects estimated to require HK$66 billion investment.
Li declined to give his outlook on the property market, saying there are too many external uncertainties that could offset housing demand in Hong Kong.
Levi Strauss valued at $6.6 billion after return to public markets
Levi Strauss, the 166-year-old jeans maker still primarily owned by descendants of its founder, yielded a higher than anticipated price on their initial public offering (IPO) last year, selling $6.6 billion in stocks.
The company filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO in February, to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol LEVI. Levi priced its IPO at $17 per share, just above its target range of $14 to $16, valuing the company at about $6.6 billion.
Bavarian-born Levi Strauss, a dry goods wholesaler in San Francisco, invented the first pair of blue jeans in 1873. Strauss, who had no children, left the business to his four nephews—the Haas family. Today, Levi Strauss and Company is one of the biggest brand names in apparel, available in 50,000 locations and 110 countries. In 2018, the company posted revenue of $5.58 billion, up 14% from a year earlier.
This is the second time the famous jeans maker has been taken public. After many decades of family ownership by the Haas family—led by brothers Peter (pictured) and Walter Haas—the company first went public in 1971. However, in 1985, Peter’s son Peter Jr, daughter Margaret E, and their cousin Robert D, recaptured ownership, taking it private again until now.