The world-famous watch company, Swatch, says it is continuing to see strong sales growth despite the economic slowdown and the strength of the Swiss franc.This content was published on November 23, 2001 - 13:25
The firm's chief, Nicolas Hayek, told Cash magazine that although the September 11 attacks had hit sales in the United States, markets in Europe and Asia had strengthened.
"US sales fell around 9 per cent in September and October. But we were able to compensate for this in other countries and so overall sales are not lower compared with the same year-ago period."
Hayek added that the figures proved how solid the company is and said he felt amazed and proud of the results.
He said the Omega brand was continuing to hold up well and that luxury watches such as Breguet, Blancpain and Glashütte were boosting profits.
But Hayek said the group's jewellery business would not contribute as large a part of the firm's sales revenue as previously forecast.
In two years, he said he expected jewellery to generate at most sales of around SFr250 million ($150 million), lower than the 10 to 15 per cent share of total sales that had been anticipated.
Total sales for Swatch are expected to be between SFr5 and SFr6 billion in two years. Last year, the company had annual sales revenues of SFr4.1 billion.
swissinfo with agencies