Handing Over the Reins: CEO Jean-Louis Dumas Set to Retire at Hermes

Jean-Louis Dumas, who for nearly three decades led Hermes to the top of the luxury sector, is stepping down as artistic director and ceo.

with contributions from Emilie Marsh
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By product category, she noted a 9 percent increase in rtw collections. Last year, production snafus with Gaultier's first collection had weighed on sales.

The 6 percent increase in high-margin leather goods sales was a disappointment to analysts. Maury blamed insufficient production capacity to meet high demand for Hermès' coveted handbags.

As reported, sales in the period rose 4.6 percent to 629.1 million euros, or $809.2 million. At constant exchange, the increase stood at 6.2 percent.

In the first half, Hermès allocated part of 58 million euros, or $74.6 million, in capital expenditures to increase leather goods production capacity. The money also went to acquire the building that houses its boutique on Avenue George V here and to expand the retail network.

Of eight new Hermès locations this year, six are slated to open in the second half, including a second outlet in Beijing and its first in Athens, Maury said. Thanks partly to the retail expansion, Hermès said it expects sales growth to accelerate in the run-up to the holiday selling season.

Looking ahead to 2006, key openings include an Hermès House in Seoul and an expansion of Dumas' prized Tokyo flagship.
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