PARIS — Swatch Group said gross sales rose 8.3 percent in 2013 despite currency headwinds, and early signs indicate that 2014 will be another year of strong growth.
The world’s largest watchmaker — parent of brands including Omega, Breguet, Blancpain and Swatch — said sales reached a record level of 8.8 billion Swiss francs, or $9.5 billion, in 2013 versus 8.14 billion Swiss francs, or $8.5 billion, the previous year. Dollar rates are calculated at average exchange rates for the periods concerned.
Swatch Group said it expects to post “good” operating profit and net income for the year, despite currency swings which impacted sales to the tune of 100 million Swiss francs, or $109 million, in the second half alone. Swatch Group is scheduled to publish its key figures on Feb. 20.
“The major growth factors were the strong brands and the extensive distribution and retail network,” it stated. “Based on the strong start by all brands in the first few days of January, dynamic growth is expected for the entire year 2014.”
Swatch Group said sales in the watches and jewelry segment, which account for 90 percent of overall revenues, were up 8.6 percent in 2013. By comparison, overall exports of Swiss watches rose 1.7 percent between January and November, according to the latest data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
“This clearly indicates the gain in market share by the Swatch Group,” the company said. Swatch Group had expanded its production capacities to keep up with demand, and is planning to add further plants in the year ahead.
However, the electronics systems segment again lagged, with adverse exchange rates contributing to a 3.9 percent sales drop.
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