PARIS — Swiss watch exports retained their momentum in August, rising 24.1 percent to 1.07 billion Swiss francs, or $1.03 billion at average exchange rates for the period.
“With two-thirds of the year now behind us, the branch is 20.1 percent higher and has grown at a sustained pace since last January,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said.
Sales in Hong Kong, the largest market for Swiss timepieces, rose 51.7 percent, while France’s business grew 54.7 percent. However, sales growth totaled just 7.6 percent in the United States, well below the world average, and China saw its sales progression slow to 4.4 percent after leading the pack for the first part of the year.
The increases were led by gold watches, with a sales gain of 38.2 percent, and bimetallic timepieces, up 33.6 percent, the report said.
Dennis Weber, analyst at Evolution Securities, noted that larger groups like Swatch and Richemont continued to gain market share and were probably experiencing even stronger growth rates.
“With many markets showing a volatile performance over the months, a strong geographic mix becomes increasingly important and Swatch and Richemont are the best-positioned companies in that respect,” he said in a research note.
“Furthermore, the strong double-digit growth achieved is more than we currently forecast for hard luxury goods in the full year, although a slowdown is still likely as comps get tougher,” Weber added.