Movado second-quarter sales up 10 percent

Watchmaker Movado Group Inc. on Thursday posted a 9.8 percent increase in net sales in the fiscal second quarter to $126.6 million, compared with $115.3 million in sales during the same period last year. Same-store sales increased 9.3 percent compared with a 2.3 percent rise in the same period last year.

For the quarter, ended July 31, the Paramus, N.J.-based company posted earnings of $11.3 million, a 31 percent increase compared with $8.6 million in earnings during same period of the prior year. The company said the growth was fueled by the successful launch of two new brands and a line of sports timepieces

Gross margin improved to 62 percent from 60.7 percent a year ago.

“We are very pleased with our performance for the first half of this year,” said Efraim Grinberg, Movado president and chief executive officer. “Our strong results reflect the continued customer appeal of our diverse portfolio of brands, including the growing prominence of Ebel around the world, the introduction of our new Hugo Boss watch collection, and the very successful launch and delivery of Series 800, a bold new sport collection from Movado. Looking ahead to the fall season, we are excited about the multitude of powerful marketing programs we have in place to support each of our brands.”

Movado Group, Inc. designs, manufactures, and distributes Movado, Ebel, Concord, ESQ, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and HUGO BOSS watches worldwide, and operates Movado boutiques and company stores in the United States. The company plans to launch Juicy Couture watches in the fall of 2006 and LACOSTE watches in the spring of 2007.