Swatch Group returns to profits growth in the first half of 2017

Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch Group confirms “spectacular” acceleration in sales, as well as the group’s return to profits growth in the first half of the year. Swatch factories this month were running at “maximum capacity”, Nick Hayek told the Financial Times, with the “most aggressive growth” in the group’s high-end luxury brands such as Omega and Blancpain.

Swatch’s net sales rose by 1.2 per cent to CHF 3.7bn ($3.9bn) in constant currencies in the first six months of 2017 compared with a year earlier. But Mr Hayek said sales of Swatch’s own-brand products — excluding sales of watch components to third parties — had expanded by 3 per cent, and the pace of expansion had increased during the period.

“The acceleration between the first and second quarters was spectacular.” Sales in Switzerland were 21 per cent higher in the second quarter than a year earlier, following 10 per cent growth in the first quarter. Sales in China had accelerated to from 8 per cent 10 per cent.

In contrast to Swiss rival Richemont, Swatch refrained from cutting capacity despite last year’s downturn. Swatch’s global workforce, at 35,000 employees in June, was 2 per cent smaller, at the end of 2016, which Mr Hayek said was within the range of “normal fluctuations”.

adapted from the FT.COM

Nick Hayek CEO Swatch Group

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