The Swiss watch group, Swatch, says it wants to establish the German luxury watch-maker, Glashütte, on international markets and boost its sales tenfold.
The chairman of the Swatch group, Nicolas Hayek, said on Friday he wanted Glashütte to aim for a turnover of DM400-500 million ($175-219 million) within five to seven years, and an annual production of up to 30,000 watches.
Glashütte, with a staff of 150, expects sales of about DM40 million ($17.5 million) for the year as a whole, compared to DM19 million ($8.3 million) last year. It currently makes 8-10,000 watches annually.
Swatch, which is the largest watch-making group in the world, acquired the German watch-maker in October.
Hayek said Glashütte's prospects were good, given that the luxury watch segment was growing in value by 20 to 30 per cent a year.
He said the company's main problem was that it was little known internationally. Glashütte will export only about 15 per cent of its production this year.
Hayek said the target was to increase this to 30 per cent in 2001 and 95 per cent in the long term.
He also gave assurances that Glashütte watches will continue to be made in Germany, and that there were no plans to relocate production to Switzerland.
Swatch owns 155 subsidiaries worldwide and expects turnover this year of about SFr4.3 billion ($2.4 billion).
swissinfo with agencies