By  on March 23, 2006

Swatch Group, the world's largest watchmaker, on Thursday said it was bullish for 2006 while reporting that its 2005 net income grew 21 percent, driven by luxury watches and jewelry.

The Swiss conglomerate said net profits rose to 621 million Swiss francs, or $499.5 million, from 512 million Swiss francs, or $412.7 million, in 2004. Operating profit grew 17.1 percent to 735 million Swiss francs, or $591.2 million. Full-year sales, already reported in February, increased 7.7 percent to 4.49 billion Swiss francs, or $3.61 billion.

Currency conversions were made at average exchange rates for the respective periods. Swatch said sales in the first months of 2006 had been strong across all geographical zones and added that it was optimistic for the remainder of the year.

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