Swatch Group is expecting sales of watches to improve in the second half of 2009. In an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ and Sonntag, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said "After a difficult start this year, we are now experiencing a substantial month to month improvement". He expects positive development as compared to the same period last year.
"We will see a real stimulus in the second half," he said.
Mr. Hayek pointed out the fact that Swatch business in China had grown significantly. "The Swatch Group grew extraordinarily strongly in china. In June, we grew in double digits, above all with Omega, Longines and Tissot."
Swiss watch exports have been badly battered over the past year, with many Swiss companies cutting working hours and a number closing down. Foreign sales of Swiss watches and components have dropped by as much as 25% in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. The hardest hit export destinations include the United States (43& drop), Japan (30% drop) and Hong Kong (26% drop). Data provided by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.