Swatch Group 2002 Sales Drop 2.9%

The Swatch Group posted a 2.9% drop in total revenues for its divisions (including watches, movements, and electronics) for 2002, to 4.06 billion Swiss francs ($3 billion), it said in a Feb. 5 report. For finished watches alone, the group saw a 1.8% drop in sales to 2.98 billion Swiss francs (about $2.2 billion).

The report noted, however, that the group posted 2002 sales gains “in local currencies” for all operations except electronics and improved sales in 2002’s second half despite the negative impact of the strong Swiss franc.

In the watch division, “all the important brands showed growth in local currency terms,” said the report, with those in the top price category turning in a particularly strong performance. Omega, the group’s best-selling brand, continued to perform “on a high level” in 2002, with further growth in local currency terms last year. All other brands “also made their contributions.” After a difficult 2001, the Swatch brand, the group’s signature watch, was “back on the path to growth” in 2002, and the group’s Swatch retail stores played an important role in that recovery.