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Swiss watches on track for strong year

Mid-year figures for Swiss watch exports exceeded the 10-billion CHF ($10.2-billion Cdn) mark, despite weaker demand in China and the ongoing euro zone crisis.

According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), the results represent a 16.4 per cent increase over the same period in 2011. Month-end results showed only April failed to grow by a two-digit rate of variation, while June led the way with a 21.7 per cent increase.

“The sector continues to have the wind in its sails, despite a high base of comparison and a difficult economic environment,” FH said in a press release.

“The European situation and news of a slowdown in China appear to be having no effect on watch exports buoyed by growing demand, particularly in the luxury segment. As a consequence, the trend has outpaced the final annual target, which forecast growth, though at a level only half as high as that of 2011.”

Timepieces made with precious metals recorded the highest increase, particularly in gold, which put it on par with steel in terms of value, though not in units sold. Units with an export price of more than 3000 CHF ($3000 Cdn) were responsible for most of the growth in value at 25.4 per cent compared to 2011, while those costing less than 200 CHF ($200 Cdn) experienced a decline in volume at -1.9 per cent. Hong Kong, the United States, and China topped the list of main markets for Swiss watch exports, reporting 25.7 per cent, 18.3 per cent, and 16.2 per cent growth, respectively, compared to the first half of 2011.

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