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Strong exports keep watchmakers hard at work

The watchmaking industry in Switzerland says 2000 should be a record year, with exports expected to top SFr10 billion ($5.5 billion).

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry in Biel said in a statement on Thursday that its confidence came after 14 months of continued industry growth.

Exports of watches and movements totalled SFr906.7 million in September, a rise of 11.1 per cent over the previous month.

The Federation said exports between July and September totalled SFr2.42 billion, up by 13.7 per cent over the comparable period last year.

In the first nine months of the year, 21.94 million finished watches were exported, a decline of 600,000 over last year's figure.

Exports of platinum and silver watches fell but demand for steel and gold products continued to rise.

The average price of a Swiss watch has increased from SFr247 to SFr293 within a year.

swissinfo with agencies

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