The financial year “exceeded our expectations, particularly in the United States where the market is very solid”, declared the CEO of the British watch retailer Brian Duffy.
British watch retailer Watches of Switzerland reported strong sales growth in its staggered 2022 financial year. It will still expand in Europe.
The group’s revenues soared by 40% to 1.23 billion pounds (1.42 billion francs) during the 2022 financial year ended on 1er may. In the United Kingdom, receipts reached 810 million (+36%) and in the United States 428 million (+48%) at constant exchange rates, according to the press release published on Thursday.
The exercise “exceeded our expectations, particularly in the United States where the market is very solid,” said general manager Brian Duffy, contacted by AWP. He still sees “potential” in it, while the group is present in 14 states.
Watches of Switzerland, which sells the most prestigious Swiss watch brands such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, praises in particular the “strength” of its business model, “good market conditions” and its international development. The group looks forward to attracting new customers and continually gaining market share, strengthening its position in luxury watches and jewelry.
Opening of shops
The group, which has more than 170 stores on both sides of the Atlantic and which continues to open more, has seen the share of online sales grow by 5% over one year.
Adjusted gross operating profit (Ebitda) soared by half to 162 million pounds. Adjusted operating income before interest and taxes (Ebit) increased by nearly 70% to 130 million for a related margin improved to 10.5% against 8.6%. Pre-tax profit more than doubled to 126 million.
The boss says he is rather preserved by inflation, being able to reassess product prices. Shop rents are currently being renegotiated. If the customer base could feel the effects of higher prices, “demand is 75% above” supply.
For the 2023 financial year, the London-listed group is targeting 1.45 to 1.50 billion pounds in sales. It is already experiencing “strong momentum”, with demand continuing to outstrip supply. He believes that “the disruptions due to the pandemic” are behind him, with a resumption of footfall at points of sale and air traffic. Investments are anticipated at 70-80 million pounds, including new offices across the Channel.
Watches of Switzerland has started to expand into Europe. A Breitling boutique opened its doors in June in Stockholm. The opening of five points of sale in Sweden, Denmark and Ireland is planned for the current financial year. “There are opportunities everywhere in the European Union,” assured the CEO, without wanting to specify other target countries.