The world's largest watchmaking group, Swatch, reported on Wednesday that net profit for 2001 will be about ten per cent lower than for the previous, record-setting year.This content was published on February 6, 2002 - 12:14
In a statement from its headquarters in Biel, Swatch said full-year sales fell by 1.9 per cent to SFr4.18 billion ($2.46 billion).
Turnover for the most important final four months of the year turned out "below our expectation", it said.
Swatch, which includes the Breguet, Blancpain and Omega brands, said consumer sentiment became "clearly more reluctant", especially in the United States, after the marked weakening of the financial markets, the terrorist attacks, and other worldwide and local unrest.
The group said Breguet enjoyed an "excellent" growth rate last year, while at Omega a large proportion of growth in local currency in European markets was almost equalled by a slump in particular in business in the US.
Longines achieved a "solid growth rate" last year, while Rado's result was slightly negative.
In the medium-price segment, in particular Tissot achieved strong growth, it reported. Sales of private-label watches dropped further, it noted.
Swatch reported a profit of SFR651 million for the year 2000, up by almost 50 per cent over the previous year's figure.
The group, which is currently switching its accounting system to International Accounting Standard norms, is due to announce full 2001 results on March 21.
swissinfo with agencies
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