The Swatch Group, the world's largest watchmaker, posted a 16.7% gain to $170.5 million in half-year net income. Its Aug. 24 report cited strong sales in luxury watches in the United States and Asia and heavy marketing of its role as the 2004 Olympic Games' timekeeper as contributing reasons. The Swiss conglomerate sells 18 brands covering all major price segments of the watch market as well as electronic timing systems, watch movements, components, and private-label timepieces. Total half-year sales rose 8.6% to $1.55 billion. Sales of finished watches tallied $1.13 billion, for a growth rate of 13.8%. That surpassed the 10.8% half-year gain by members of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (representing more than 90% of the Swiss industry), which Swatch says confirms that the company has "reinforced its position as a market leader and increased its [global] market share."