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Strong franc costs Swatch Group SFr150 million

The strong franc cost the Swatch Group, the world’s number one watchmaker, SFr150 million ($165 million) in turnover for the first three months of 2011.

But CEO Nick Hayek says price rises are not the appropriate method of dealing with the currency problem.

“We’ve decided to raise prices moderately by four to six per cent in certain countries and with specific brands,” he told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, adding that a price spiral would be “counterproductive”.

Hayek also said isolated price rises would by no means make up for losses caused by the weak euro and dollar and the high cost of raw materials such as gold and diamonds.

He maintained, however, that the Biel-based Swatch Group aimed to achieve a turnover of SFr7 billion in 2011.

Founded in 1983 by Nicolas Hayek who died in 2010, the Swatch Group is made up of 19 watch brands, including Breguet, Omega, Tissot, Longines, Rado, Blancpain and Swatch. and agencies


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