By Joshua Kirby
Swatch Group AG on Thursday reiterated its growth guidance for the full year as first-half sales increased despite major headwinds in China.
The Swiss watchmaker, owner of brands including Swatch, Omega and Tissot, said sales in the January-June period rose by 7.4% on year at constant currency to 3.61 billion Swiss francs ($3.69 billion.) This was in spite of a hit of around CHF400 million from closures of warehouses and retail stores in China in April and May, Swatch said. The war in Ukraine meanwhile affected group sales by less than 1%, Swatch said.
The company said it still expects double-digit sales growth for the full year, as set out earlier this year. “Growth prospects for all price segments, from Swatch to the prestige brands, are extremely positive,” the group said, adding that America and Asia, including mainland China, should fuel growth in the second half of the year.
First-half operating profit rose by 25% on year to CHF503 million, while net profit came in at CHF320 million, 18.5% higher on year. The net margin rose to 8.9% from 8% in the same period last year, Swatch said.
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