Watch exports pick up the pace in August

During the month under review, international sales of Swiss watches jumped 14.7% to 1.7 billion francs.

Swiss watch exports picked up the pace again in August, benefiting from an increase in almost all regions of the globe, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) announced on Tuesday.

During the month under review, shipments of Swiss watches abroad jumped by 14.7% to 1.7 billion francs, detailed the umbrella organization in a press release. Since the start of the year, the increase has been 11.7%.

In terms of volumes, the sector sold 1.3 million watches in August, which represents an increase of 13.8% compared to August 2021.

At the start of the year, sector exports had soared, benefiting from the post-Covid rebound, with growth above 30% in January and February. Since then, growth has slowed down significantly and in July, exports had grown by a further 8.3%.

The United States remained the leading outlet for Swiss watchmakers, with sales up 23.2% and a market share of 15% in August. China follows just behind, posting sales up 15.4% despite the continuation of sanitary confinements which are detrimental to activity. Hong Kong, on the other hand, recorded a decline of 7.8%, while in Japan they soared by 48.3%. Singapore saw its sales accelerate by 37%.

In Europe, the United Kingdom recorded an increase of 11.2%, despite the surge in inflation which is impacting the purchasing power of British consumers.

By price range, only watches in the range of 200 to 500 francs (export price) saw their exports decline, while the other segments rose. At the top of the range (prices above 3000 francs), sales increased by 20.2% in value.

On the Swiss Stock Exchange, the two watch stocks took advantage of this news. Shortly before 9:30 a.m., the Swatch Group stock rose 3% to 233.40 francs and that of Richemont 2% to 103.50 francs, doing significantly better than the main SLI index (+0.19%).

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