Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Swiss watch exports declined for a 13th consecutive month in July as Hong Kong, traditionally the biggest market for luxury timepieces, slipped to second place for the first time in almost a decade.

Shipments fell 14 percent to 1.6 billion francs ($1.7 billion), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said in a statement Tuesday. Exports to Hong Kong fell 33 percent to 175 million francs, while shipments to the U.S. dropped 15 percent to 179 million francs.

Slumping demand has spread from Asia to the industry’s main European markets. Swatch Group AG’s first-half profit dropped 54 percent, the Omega maker said last month.

Adjusted for working days, the drop in monthly exports was 5.9 percent, according to the national customs office.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew Boyle at mboyle20@bloomberg.net, Paul Jarvis, Thomas Mulier

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