Zurich (awp) – Swatch Group thinks it is on track to achieve a new record turnover this year, at least in local currency. Because whether the target of 9 billion Swiss francs in turnover will be achieved depends on the evolution of the franc, says the boss of the Biel giant Nick Hayek in an interview with SonntagsBlick.
According to Mr. Hayek, Swatch will achieve record sales in local currency, based on the increase in local currency sales in the first half: in Swiss francs, sales increased by more than 11% to 4.02 billion Swiss francs; in local currency the increase was 18%.
In August, the currency impact was about 70 million Swiss francs, for revenues of 700 million, Mr. Hayek said. However, the negative currency situation does not detract from “the enormous potential we have with our brands in the world”.
Swatch’s boss also noted that the group is doing well compared to the sector. The Swiss watch industry increased its exports by 10% through the end of July, while Swatch Group increased by 19%, he said.
We have not fallen asleep in the luxury segment
Mr Hayek also rejected accusations that Swatch was focusing on the luxury segment. On the contrary, he added: it is the other manufacturers who have been sleeping, because besides luxury there are also other segments.
The boss of the Biel-based company particularly highlighted the “phenomenal success” of the “Moonswatch” and “Scuba Fifty Fathoms”. As early as the 1970s, the watch industry made the mistake of focusing only on the higher segment and suffered a major crisis.
At the time, Swatch had enabled the industry to turn around. A few rare luxury brands, no matter how big they are, do not constitute the Swiss watch industry, Mr. Hayek underlined, concluding by affirming that “we should not make products for an elite, but for everyone.”