By  on March 12, 2009

PARIS — Switzerland’s Swatch Group on Thursday said net profits fell 17.4 percent last year and announced “a cautious but not pessimistic outlook” for early 2009.

The maker of Omega, Swatch and Breguet watches saw net profits fall to 838 million Swiss francs, or $776.4 million at average exchange rates for the period. The group, whose brand portfolio also includes Jacquet Droz, Blancpain and Glashütte Original, said marketing costs for the Beijing Olympics impacted its operating margin in the second half.

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