Diamond high-jewellery collection to support Harry Winston expansion.
Swatch Group revealed it invested CHF 140m (£90.8m) into the production of a new diamond-studded high jewellery collection for Harry Winston, as part of its efforts to expand the brand and make it more available and accessible to a wider market.
Progress of the Harry Winston brand, which was acquired by Swatch Group in 2013, has been described as “highly encouraging” in the company’s Half Year Financial Report 2014.
Investment has also been made in the renovation of Harry Winston retail stores.
The new Harry Winston watch collection, which was presented for the first time at BaselWorld this year, will support the ongoing growth of Swatch Group over the next six months, and will be available in the second half of 2014.
According to Swatch Group’s latest financial report, gross sales were up 8.5% across the group to CHF 4.535 billion (£2.951bn) but unfavourable exchange rates between the Swiss currency and those of Swatch Group’s world markets saw that figure cut to 4% or CHF 4.347billion (£2.828bn).
Gross sales in the Watches & Jewellery segment grew by 8.8% at constant rates, 4.3% at current rates. Production also increased by 8.8% despite a serious fire at the group’s Swiss ETA movement manufacturing facility in December 2013 that is believed to have cost the group CHF 200million in sales.
Group inventory was up CHF 300million (£195m) resulting in a total worldwide stock worth CHF 5.729 billion (£3.724bn). This was attributed to the increased production at Harry Winston as well as production of Omega’s Master Co-Axial range and Swatch’s Sistem51.
Sales forecasts in the US and Japan for the second half of the year were ‘very positive’, while a ‘stronger sales trend’ noticed in mainland China continues.