The Swatch group, the world’s biggest watchmaker, has announced that its net income rose by 26 per cent in 2012 and operating profits by 22.9 per cent, and says it is optimistic about its performance in 2013.
“The signals from the markets around the world clearly indicate continued healthy growth potential for the Swiss watch industry and the Swatch Group,” the group said in a statement issued on Monday.
It forecast long-term growth of five to ten per cent per year in the Swiss watch industry.
“As always, the focus is on producing innovative and high-quality Swiss products in every segment,” it added.
Its takeover of the Canadian-owned watch and jewellery brand Harry Winston in January 2013 – its first major takeover for several years – means that the group has first-class brands in all segments, including jewellery, it pointed out.
The group said it had created about 1,500 new jobs, including 900 in Switzerland. Another 280 jobs were added through acquisitions. The Swatch Group now employs about 29,700 people worldwide.
It had already announced in January an increase in gross sales of SFr1 billion ($1.1 billion), or 14 per cent in 2012.
It attributed its good results to “a high level of capacity utilisation, innovative production methods and traditionally strong cost controls”, despite an economic environment it described as “extremely nervous”.