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Swatch leaves financial crisis in fine shape

The Swatch Group has recorded the third-best year in its history with sales of SFr5.4 billion ($5.2 billion) in 2009 and it sees “solid growth” for 2010.

The world’s largest watchmaking concern said that 2009 sales had fallen by 6.3 per cent compared with the previous year when adjusted for currency swings and 2008 divestments.

In a statement, the Biel-based group said that there had been a significant rebound in sales in the second half of 2009, with a “phenomenal” record month of December.

It said it was very confident of further increases in sales and margins in 2010.

Swatch, which owns a stable of brands in all price categories, said Omega’s mission as official timekeeper of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver was just one of the highlights to come.

Analysts at Bank Wegelin said in a note that the group had proven relatively resilient to the crisis thanks to strong brands and broad regional reach.

“The outlook is more than promising and profits should continue to be very strong if the world economy keeps recovering,” they said.

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