Record sales for Swatch in first quarter of 2010

Swatch Group managed to offer this upbeat trading update despite a grim battle with exchange rates during the month that took a 10.8% bite out of its

Share price up as strong demand prompts record year forecast.

Strong demand has helped Swatch Group to achieve record sales and profit almost every month between January and April, according to Swatch chairman Nicolas Hayek.

Hayek declined to reveal exact figures but told investors at the group’s general meeting on Wednesday that Swatch Group expects to achieve record earnings in 2010.

He said: “The first four months show strong growth and consequently strong results. We achieved record sales and record profits almost every month. We therefore have good reason to expect a new record year for 2010, unless this trend is annihilated by another worldwide crisis of the finance sector."

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At the same meeting the board of directors voted to re-elect Esther Grether, Nayla Hayek, Peter Gross, Nicolas Hayek, Claude Nicollier, Johann Niklaus Schneider-Ammann and Ernst Tanner for another three-year period. The directors also announced that former Swiss National Bank governing board chairman Jean-Pierre Roth would be joining the board.

Swatch Group’s shares climbed 3.6 percent on Wednesday. In 2009, Swatch Group, which is the world’s largest watchmaker by sales, posted net profit of CHF759 million (£461.3 million).

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