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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Swatch Group Underscores Strength of the Swiss Watch Industry


Swatch Group, the world’s largest watch company, said Tuesday that its watch and jewelry sales for the first half of 2012 grew 16.7 percent to 3.4 billion Swiss francs ($3.42 billion), year-over-year. The company owns 19 watch and jewelry brands in all market segments, including Swatch, Breguet and Longines.

The results by Swiss company underscores the strength and resiliency of the Swiss watch industry despite the economic problems facing much of the world. Last week, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported that watch sales for the first half of the year increased by 16.9 percent to 9.5 billion francs ($9.55 billion).

Swatch Group—which also produces movements, hands, crowns, cases, screws, pallets, escapements, electronic circuits, batteries, ceramics and sapphire for its own products and its competitors—saw its gross sales increase 14.4 percent to 3.84 billion francs ($3.86 billion), surpassing the record 2011 half-year figure.

Operating profit for the first half of the year increased by 19.4 percent to 903 million Swiss francs ($908.6 million). Net income increased 25 percent to 724 million francs, year-over-year ($728.4 million).

The Biel/Bienne-based company, in its outlook, expects “dynamic growth in all segments and regions, notably also outside Asia,” for the second half of the year.

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