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2018 Swatch Group Results Show Growth Despite Slower End of Year – 2019 Outlook Still Positive

2018 revenues are up but business slowed in the last three months of the year, particularly in December.

| By Xavier Markl | 1 min read |

Following Richemont ahead of the SIHH and LVMH earlier this week, it is now Swatch Group’s turn to communicate on its performance. The overall results are positive with net sales and profitability on the rise, but the end of 2018 proved more challenging. The Swatch Group, however, anticipates healthy growth in 2019.

The Swiss Watch powerhouse reports net sales up 6.1% at CHF 8,475 million at current exchange rates (and up 5.7% at constant exchange rates). The operating result increased by 15.2% to CHF 1,154 million. The net income increased by 14.8% to CHF 867 million. Overall, 2018 results are positive for the Swatch Group.

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However, if the first semester revenues were up 14%, business slowed in the last trimester of 2018, specifically in December. Swatch Group mentions a strong 2017 comparison basis. This is also in line with a less favourable overall business environment as seen with the evolution of the Swiss Watch Exports, whose growth slowed over the second semester.

Among the 2018 highlights, Swatch reports that the growth was driven by the prestige and luxury range, mentioning in particular Blancpain, Omega and Longines. The trend was particularly good in Asia, sales developed positively in North America and results were contrasted in Europe.

Swatch Group anticipates a “healthy growth” for the year to come and reports “solid growth” in January. The group hopes to eliminate bottlenecks in the supply chain to support its sales as “demand is good”. Further expansion of e-commerce, mainly in the middle and basic range, will open additional possibilities.

In the press release Swatch Group announces its plan to produce watches with anti-magnetic properties across all brands – using either silicon or Nivachron balance springs.

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