Sales hit CHF6bn as Swatch beats own records

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Watch group beats sales levels from previous record year in 2008.

Annual sales at Swatch Group exceeded the CHF6 billion (£3.91bn) barrier for the first time as the watch group delivered a set of record results.

Swatch revealed that sales in 2010 were up 21.8 percent on 2009’s figures and up 12.7 percent on 2008, which at the time was a record year for the business. It has called 2010 a “record year despite capacity bottlenecks and adverse exchange rates”.

In a statement, Swatch said: “The extraordinary strength of our brand portfolio was again reflected in an excellent performance by the watch segment in practically all markets and price segments, with an increase at constant exchange rates of 28.1 percent.”

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The group’s watch and jewellery sector performed particularly well in the build up to Christmas with sales growth of 28 percent in December.

Swatch said there were indications in January of continued double-digit growth and added that it believes the outlook remains optimistic for further strong organic sales growth in 2011. It said: “Sales in January 2011 are already exhibiting a positive trend with double-digit growth in local currencies. The optimistic expectations are supported by the group’s strategic positioning in all market segments and its geographic presence throughout the world.”

The group expects an improved operating margin and a higher net profit for the financial year 2010 compared with the previous year. It added that this improvement will be visible in all areas of the group.

Looking forward, Swatch said the outlook for 2011 remains positive, despite a negative foreign currency development, particularly in the US Dollar and the Euro, against the Swiss Franc.

The watch group said it will continue investment in its distribution and the expansion of its production capacities on both standard products as well as new products that were launched in the markets at the end of 2010, such as the New Gent from Swatch, the Ladymatic from Omega and the Type XXII 10 Hz chronograph from Breguet. The group added that other product launches are planned for spring 2011.

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