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Swatch Group Revenue Drops in 2019

Sluggish Hong Kong market and strong Swiss franc presented challenges for owner of Omega and Harry Winston.
Feb 5, 2020 9:19 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Revenue from watches and jewelry at Swatch Group fell 3% to CHF 7.97 billion ($8.19 billion) last year, reflecting weakness in Hong Kong and the negative impact of the strong Swiss franc.

The consortium, which owns watch brands Omega and Tissot and luxury jeweler Harry Winston, saw a sales slowdown in Hong Kong during the second half of 2019 amid social unrest in the municipality, it said last week. The depreciation of the US dollar and the euro against the Swiss currency also had an adverse effect on the final figures.

Group revenue fell 2.7% to CHF 8.24 billion ($8.47 billion), including the 0.9% impact of exchange-rate fluctuation, while net profit slid 14% to CHF 748 million ($769 million).

The company anticipates “healthy growth” in all markets except Hong Kong in 2020, but expects the strength of the Swiss franc to remain challenging.

The spread of the coronavirus has provided an additional source of concern for the luxury market this year, as the outbreak has brought retail to a near standstill in parts of greater China. The situation forced the group to cancel its annual watch summit, Time to Move, which was due to take place in Zurich, Switzerland, in late February and early March.

Swatch Group’s luxury watch and jewelry brands accounted for 97% of sales in 2019, with its electronics businesses also contributing to the total.

Image: A Harry Winston store in New York. (Rapaport News)
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