By  on August 15, 2007

Swatch Group reported a 39.4 percent jump in earnings for the first half of the year, boosted by continued demand for watches and jewelry worldwide.

The Sweden-based company said earnings rose to 460 million Swiss francs, or $377 million, on sales that gained 17 percent to 2.7 billion Swiss francs, or $2.2 billion.

Dollar figures are at the average exchange rate.

The company said in a statement that its operating profit increased 27 percent to 402 million Swiss francs, or $330 million.

"With its 18 brands in all price categories, the Swatch Group continues to benefit from strong worldwide demand for watches and jewelry," the company said. "Due to renewed growth surge in its core business, the group gained significant market shares with all geographical regions contributing to this considerable growth."

During the first half of 2007. Swatch opened the N.G. Hayek Center in Tokyo, the first outlet with its U.S. joint venture partner, and acquired airport shops in France.

The company said in a release that it expects continued success in the second half of the year, as sales for July and initial estimates for the current month all point to growth.

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