Swatch Group Likely to Hit Full Year Profit Goal

Bienne—Swatch Group, the world’s largest watchmaker, is likely to reach its sales target this year despite the negative impact of the strong Swiss franc, Nick Hayak, ceo, said this week.

“We will probably reach our sales goal of 6 billion Swiss francs ($6.22 billion) this year. By how much we can exceed it depends largely on the dollar and the euro,” Nick Hayek told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft in an interview.

The Swiss franc has risen more than 10% versus the euro this year and hit a new record high against the dollar on Wednesday, threatening Swiss exporters’ margins.

“The margin development is good in spite of the exchange rate situation,” Hayek said, adding that demand was holding up well.

According the Finanz und Wirtschaft report, Hayek declined to reconfirm the group’s forecast of a record net profit in 2010 after posting a more than 50% jump in first half net profit, driven by strong demand in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Swatch Group, which owns nearly 20 watch brands including Swatch, Rado and Breguet, wants to extend its distribution network in China and the United States, Hayek said. “We intend to open nine new Omega boutiques in the United States by the end of the year.”

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