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Swatch increases profit despite strong franc

Swatch Group, the world’s biggest watchmaker, has announced a 25 per cent rise in first-half net profit to SFr579 million ($723 million), beating forecasts.

But it warned that the strong Swiss franc would hit sales growth as well as group operating profit and net income.

"The outlook... in the second half of the year remains promising, particularly given the fact that July is confirming the trend in sales and results of the first half," Swatch Group said in a statement. 

The communiqué added that the group would invest more in production capacities and staff training to keep up with demand.

“Continuing strong growth and the positive outlook in local currency will, however, be hampered by uncurbed speculation in the Swiss franc. This will further negatively impact sales growth as well as operating profit and net income,” it added.

The group, known for its colourful plastic Swatch watches but also the high end brands Omega and Blancpain, said that it was nevertheless aiming to win more market share. and agencies

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