Swiss conglomerate Swatch Group is anticipating a strong increase in sales in the year ahead after reporting a healthy 2.5 per cent improvement for 2022.
Revenue reached $US8.15 billion ($AU11.5 billion) for the organisation responsible for Harry Winston, Omega, Longines, Tissot, and Breguet, among other brands.
Sales of jewellery and watches specifically increased 1.9 per cent to $US7.77 billion ($AU10.96 billion).
“Consistent double-digit sales growth in Europe, the US, the Middle East, and most of the Asian markets was severely dampened by the significant decline in sales in China,” the report noted.
“The fourth quarter was particularly affected. First the lockdowns, and then the massive COVID wave, after the measures were lifted, led to shortfalls of over 30 per cent in this quarter. January shows growth again with sales which will exceed the strong corresponding month in the previous year.”
Recent reports suggested that Swatch could reach $US9.8 billion ($AU13.8 billion) in full-year sales; however, declining sales in Asia outweighed the success of the MoonSwatch.
“The MoonSwatch is a dual-branded replica of an Omega Speedmaster that’s sold exclusively through Swatch shops for about a 100th of the price of the real thing. It has proved wildly popular,” writes Bryce Elder of the Financial Times.
“Yet China still managed to eclipse the MoonSwatch. Greater China sales dropped 50 per cent year-on-year in December. Cash flows deteriorated sharply and inventories hit a record as stockpiled parts and materials were left unused.”
He continued: “Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said on the earnings call that Chinese demand is rebounding but that there were too many Longines and Omegas in the supply chain. These kinds of overstocks are difficult for high-end watchmakers to manage.”
Hayek also said that strong performance from Swatch, Omega, and jeweller Harry Winston could help achieve record revenue in 2023 following a ‘very strong’ January.
MoonSwatch breaks 1 million sales
The company’s best-selling product was the MoonSwatch – a collaboration between Omega and Swatch.
The release of the collection in March generated long queues outside stores in Melbourne to Sydney while worldwide, frenzied crowds gathered in Hong Kong, London, Singapore, and New York, among others.
Hayek recently revealed the company had sold more than 1 million MoonSwatches prior to the end of November.
“It doesn’t stop. The queues are still there,” Hayek said.
“We still see potential of double-digit growth in the US.”
If this rate continues selling more than 1.5 million units by the end of March is within reach.
Market researchers Morgan Stanley previously estimated that the MoonSwatch collection could provide $US128 million in top-line revenue in the first year alone.
CEO concedes MoonSwatch madness could have been avoided
MoonSwatch won’t be available online
Making sense of the Omega x Swatch chaos
Omega x Swatch chaos takes over Australian shopping centres