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Swatch Group returns to profit, expects strong sales By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Swatch logo is pictured in front of the new headquarters, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, of the Swatch Group-owned brand, in Biel, Switzerland October 3, 2019. Picture taken October 3, 2019. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group (SIX:) said it expected double-digit sales growth in local currencies this year after sales and profits recovered in 2021.

It returned to a net profit of 774 million Swiss francs ($845 million), compared to a loss of 53 million in 2020, while sales at constant exchange rates increased by almost 30% to 7.31 billion. francs, watchmaker Omega and Longines said in a statement on Tuesday.

Swiss watch sales rebounded strongly last year after the slump caused by pandemic-related lockdowns, but Swatch Group lost market share to big Rolex and smartwatches like Apple (NASDAQ:) Watch.

Its shares, which rose much less than their peers last year, fell out of the blue chips in September.

Peer Richemont also saw a jump in sales this month on the back of its strong jewelry business amid a broader revival of luxury goods.

Swatch Group’s operating margin reached 14%, after 0.9% last year and 12.4% in 2019. Its Watches & Jewelry segment (excluding production) achieved an operating margin of 17.7% on the the whole year and 18.4% in the second half.

He said his board would decide on his dividend proposal at its next meeting.

($1 = 0.9159 Swiss francs)

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