Bloomberg News

Pound Declines as Gilts Advance on World Bank Downgrade

February 04, 2013

Swatch Group AG (UHR), the biggest maker of Swiss timepieces, said its sales last year would have been 500 million francs ($550 million) higher if the franc were still at 2010 levels.

Gross sales increased by 14 percent in 2012 from a year earlier to 8.14 billion francs, the Biel, Switzerland-based company reported today. Net income climbed 26 percent to 1.6 billion francs, exceeding the 1.49 billion-francs average of 15 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“Foreign currencies stabilized somewhat against the Swiss franc but remain significantly weaker than two years ago,” the company said in a statement. “The signals from the markets around the world clearly indicate continued healthy growth potential for the Swiss watch industry.”

The franc traded at 1.2358 per euro at 11:08 a.m. in London, compared with an average of 1.381 during 2010. The Swiss National Bank put a ceiling on the currency in 2011 to prevent it from strengthening beyond 1.20 per euro as investors sought a haven from Europe’s debt crisis.

The franc weakened 0.2 percent last year, according to Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Currency Indexes, which track 10 developed-nation currencies. It jumped 8.1 percent during 2010 and 0.6 percent in 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anchalee Worrachate in London at aworrachate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Dobson at pdobson2@bloomberg.net


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