Cash ticking in for Swatch as profits soar

Cash ticking in for Swatch as profits soar
Blake Patterson (File)

The world's biggest watch group Swatch said on Tuesday its net profits jumped 18.1 percent to 1.3 billion francs ($1.4 billion) in 2011 and it expected to sustain growth this year.

The Swatch Group ascribed its success to strong sales in China in particular.

Operating profit increased 12.4 percent to 1.61 billion Swiss francs and the operating margin increased from 23.5 percent to “a strong 23.9 percent despite the negative currency environment and the sharp rise in commodity prices”.

“We expect growth to continue in 2012, although this is more and more challenging due to the high benchmark,” the watch group said in a statement.

Gross sales for Swatch hit a record 7.14 billion francs in 2011, the group announced in January, an increase of 21.7 percent over 2010 at constant exchange rates, and it created more than 2,800 new jobs.

“The continued weakness in the euro and the dollar during the year had a major negative impact on sales of about 700 million Swiss francs,” Swatch said however.

On the Swiss exchange Swatch International was trading at 395.6 francs at 0850 GMT down 4.6 percent.

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