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By
Reuters
Translated by
Robin Driver
Published
Jan 28, 2021
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Swatch posts first loss in almost 40 years due to pandemic

By
Reuters
Translated by
Robin Driver
Published
Jan 28, 2021

Swatch Group announced its first annual loss since starting business almost 40 years ago on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to negatively affect demand in the luxury sector. 


Swatch Group announced its first loss in almost 40 years on Thursday - Photo d'archives/REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann


The Swiss watchmaker reported a net loss of 53 million Swiss francs ($59.7 million) in fiscal 2020, its first loss since 1983, the year in which the Swatch Group was founded in its current form and launched its plastic Swatch watch. 

Covid-19-related restrictions, which imposed temporary store closures and considerably reduced international travel, pulled down the revenues of the Biel/Bienne-based company, which also sells Tissot, Longines and Omega watches. 

Similarly to other watchmakers, Swatch Group was also affected by the political troubles in Hong Kong, which significantly reduced the number of Chinese tourists visiting the region over the course of the year. 

Unlike Richemont, which was able to compensate for a decline in its watch sales thanks to strong demand for jewelry over the holiday period, Swatch Group has no jewelry operations to fall back on. Furthermore, the company's low-end Swatch and Tissot brands are vulnerable to competition from smartwatches made by the likes of Apple. 

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