Swatch Group posts healthy 2013 results, outperforming the industry

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With a healthy rise in sales and a sharp jump in profits, the Swatch Group has just posted a strong set of numbers for the last year, outperforming the industry when business is slowing. The Swatch Group had a better year than some of its competitors like LVMH, with an 8% rise in sales, despite adverse currency conditions and slower business in the industry overall. That compares with growth of just 1.8% in Swiss watch exports for the 11 months to November 2013. These numbers are partly due to the group’s strong presence in entry and mid-level brands like Tissot and Longines, a position its rivals like Richemont cannot match. Operating income rose 17%, thanks in part to the windfall from its dispute with Tiffany & Co. In fact, the compensation from the American jeweller helped restore the Swatch Group’s cash position to practically the same level before its purchase of Harry Winston in early 2013. And operating margin rose to 27.4%, with the rise mainly due to the compensation from Tiffany & Co. Richemont, the third and last watch conglomerate in a few months and the comparison will be interesting.

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