Chopard Projects a 10% Drop for 2009

With Swiss watch exports down by 24 percent in the first four months of this year, Chopard caught a break in May with a slight pickup in demand. As the independent watch and jewelry maker looks ahead, Chopard anticipates only a 10 percent drop in overall sales for 2009, according to a Reuters’ report.  

Chopard and other Swiss watchmakers are bracing themselves for the worst drop in watch exports in over 20 years. Middle-class customers impacted by job losses and their contraction of investment portfolios are key factors in Chopard’s drop in sales so far this year.

But favorable fourth-quarter sales are projected with demand remaining “resilient” for high-end timepieces, says Chopard’s Chairman Karl Scheufele in the Reuters’ report. “We can see there is still money around and sometimes people still spend this money.” 

High end Chopard watches can cost upwards of $166,500.

In order to reduce operating costs, the company has cut advertising, sponsoring and communications from between 10 and 12 percent of sales down to 8 percent of sales, thus delaying the openings of some planned Chopard boutiques.

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