Watchmaker Swatch Group AG posted a 12.3 percent jump in 2006 sales, reached more than 5 billion Swiss francs for the first time.

Driven by a strong demand for luxury watches, Swatch reported sales of 5.05 billion Swiss francs, or $4 billion, from 4.5 billion francs in 2005.

“The Breguet, Blancpain, Glashutte Original and Omega brands deserve special mention,” the company said in a release. “These luxury segment brands have achieved growth well into double figures.”

Strength in sales is expected to lead to an increase in operating profit, and the company predicts 2006 will break the record books.

The watches and jewelry segment jumped to 3.91 billion francs, or $3.13 billion, from $3.44 billion francs last year.

“The very high demand for products in all price categories means that there is also a healthy development in the inventory situation,” according to the release. “The continuing economic boom in all regions and an uninterrupted high demand for brand products worldwide will help to further sustain growth within the Group.”

This story first appeared in the January 23, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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