Swatch sales soar in Asia

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group has reported a strong first-half financial performance with net income up 25 per cent.

Net income totalled 724 million Swiss francs (US$731 million) from 575 million Swiss francs (US$577.71 million) a year earlier. The net income exceeded the estimates of 674 million Swiss francs (US$680.60 million).

Gross sales in the watches and jewellery segment rose in the first half-year to a total of 3.4 million Swiss francs (US$3.43 million), which represents an increase of 16.7 per cent on the already high comparison basis of 2011.

Swatch Group’s strong performance was bouyed by the revenue rise in Asia particularly in China. Despite slowdown, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported a 23 per cent increase in watch exports to China and Hong Kong in the first half of this year.

“Some brands are stagnating, some are going down compared with last year. Omega remains the strongest brand in China, but is of course also a bit slower,” CEO Nick Hayek said.

The group clearly sees more opportunities than risks for the future, despite some negative trends such as in the exchange rate and euro situation and a certain weakening in the high-end segment in parts of greater China. Its goal remains to achieve a record eight billion Swiss francs (US$8.07 billion) in sales for this year.

Swatch Group carries 19 brands including Longines, Rado, Tissot, Balmain, Omega and Swatch.



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