Swatch profit rises as MoonSwatch frenzy boosts watch sales

Swatch launched the MoonSwatch collaboration in March 2022, causing retail chaos at its boutiques around the world. PHOTO: SWATCH

ZURICH – Swatch Group’s 2022 earnings rose as the watchmaker’s in-house collaboration between its Omega and Swatch brands drove sales higher, with more than a million MoonSwatches sold.

Operating profit rose 13 per cent to 1.16 billion Swiss francs (S$1.66 billion), the Biel-based company said on Tuesday. Analysts expected 1.19 billion francs.

The increase underscores the rebound in demand for Swiss timepieces that gained speed during the pandemic and spurred overall exports to fresh record value levels in 2022.

Swatch launched the MoonSwatch collaboration in March, causing retail chaos at its boutiques around the world as consumers clamoured for a US$260 (S$340) plastic version of the iconic Omega Speedmaster.

“The MoonSwatch is a bestseller,” the company said in the statement. Demand for the timepiece is “ongoing, including in January”, it said.

Swatch reported net sales of 7.5 billion Swiss francs, an increase of 4.6 per cent compared with the previous year at constant exchange rates.

Revenue could reach a record 9 billion Swiss francs this year, chief executive Nick Hayek said in an interview.

Sales in China, one of the company’s largest markets, dropped in the fourth quarter due to lockdowns and then a massive wave of Covid-19 infections after restrictions were lifted.

But Swatch said sales in China are rebounding this month after slumping 50 per cent in December. BLOOMBERG

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