PARIS — Swiss watch exports rose 5.7 percent in April, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported on Tuesday.
Foreign sales of Swiss timepieces reached 1.8 billion Swiss francs, or $1.9 billion, in the month, according to the federation. This followed a 0.6 percent increase in March and a 2.5 percent dip in February.
"Although growth is still present in this first third of the year, it is less sustained than before. It has entered a phase of normalization with a pattern close to the long-term trend of the branch," the federation stated.
Swiss watch exports for the first four months of the year totaled 6.5 billion Swiss francs, or $7 billion, a 3.3 percent advance compared with the same period last year.
Dollar figures are calculated at average exchange for the period to which they refer.
The number of exported wristwatches fell 4.3 percent in relation to April 2012, due mainly to a 16.9 percent drop in the amount of watches from the category of "other materials."
The volume decline mainly affected watches costing less than 200 Swiss francs, or $213, which were down 11 percent on the month. By contrast, timepieces in the range of 200 to 500 Swiss francs, or $213 to $533, posted a 19.4 percent jump in the number of pieces sold abroad.
Hong Kong and China continued to report declining sales, with drops of 6.7 percent and 22 percent, respectively. However, the United States remained stable. "It is worth pointing out that these three important markets all achieved, in different ways, the same level as in April 2011," the federation noted.
In Europe, Germany was up 19.8 percent and Italy reported a 16.2 percent advance, while France tumbled 15.2 percent. Sales held up in Japan, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Spain.
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