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Why Hong Kong turmoil is bad news for watchmakers

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:15s - Published
Why Hong Kong turmoil is bad news for watchmakers

Why Hong Kong turmoil is bad news for watchmakers

Swatch Group earnings are sharply down, and the watchmaker's troubles may be connected to the political turmoil in Hong Kong - the biggest export market for Swiss timepieces.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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Hong Kong's turmoil has claimed one surprising victim far, far away.

Swiss watchmakers.

Swatch Group reporting a big drop in sales and earnings on Wednesday.

Net profit down over 11 percent in the first half.

Besides its namesake brand, the company makes many of the watches you know.

From Longines to Omega to really high-end names like Breguet.

Now it seems Hong Kong's troubles may be connected to its own.

The city is the biggest export market for Swiss watches.

It's a gateway to Chinese consumers.

Swatch won't say where sales declined.

But the Swiss watch industry association says exports to the city are sharply down.

Investors don't seem worried though.

Shares in Swatch up over five percent in early trade.

Traders noted the firm's promise of 'strong growth' in the second half.

Also in focus, its crackdown on the so-called grey market.

That's the many unauthorized retailers selling Swatch brands at a discount.

The company says the crackdown crimped sales in the first half - but will boost prices and profits in the long run.




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