Swatch Group CEO sees China growing by 10% in 2013
In an interview to Bloomberg, Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch Group, the biggest maker of Swiss timepieces, estimated that China would expand by about 10 percent in 2013. “We see very good business in the mid-range and entry-level” with brands such as Longines and Tissot, Hayek said.“In the high-end, they might have a little bit less sales, but you can’t grow every year by 50 or 60 percent.”
Hayek’s forecast comes after growth in exports of Swiss timepieces to China slowed to 4.4 percent in the first 11 months of 2012. Shipments to the country rose 49 percent in 2011, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. “Given the 20 percent to 30 percent growth over last few years for Hong Kong and China combined, Hayek’s forecast might be seen as somewhat conservative and take the market by surprise,” said Jon Cox, head of Swiss research at Kepler Capital Markets in Zurich. He estimates that the Chinese watch market will expand 10 percent in 2013.