PARIS — Switzerland's Swatch Group, the maker of Omega, Swatch and Breguet watches, said "outstanding" double-digit growth in Asia, and the Middle East drove its full-year sales ahead by a better-than-expected 17.6 percent.
Swatch, whose other brands include Jacquet Droz, Blancpain and Glashutte Original, said unfavorable currency exchange rates and rising raw materials costs had "squeezed" margins for the year.
But it said it expected to report "above-average" increases in operating profits and net income for 2007. Meanwhile, Swatch predicted that strong market conditions for high-end watches would continue this year.
"Despite the current wave of turbulence in financial markets, [Swatch] expects the positive trend to continue," the company said, predicting double-digit growth for January.
Extraordinary demand for high-end watches over the last few years has driven growth at most luxury Swiss timepiece manufacturers. Since many of the most complicated — and coveted — pieces take months to produce, demand often has exceeded supply.
The Swiss Watch Federation reported exports of Swiss-made timepieces grew 17 percent in November, with exports of luxury pieces growing even faster.
Swatch said sales of its watch and jewelry division last year gained 20.4 percent to 4.71 billion Swiss francs, or $3.93 billion at average exchange rates. Though growth was exceptional in Asia and the Middle East, Europe and America also "recorded solid double-digit growth in sales," Swatch said.
Demand for movements from outside companies contributed to a 20.9 percent rise to 1.68 billion Swiss francs, or $1.4 billion, in sales at Swatch's production division, while sales at its electronic systems grew 6.2 percent to 630 million Swiss francs, or $525.6 million.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
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With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
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Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)