Watches of Switzerland has another strong period as watch demand rises
The Watches of Switzerland Group update on Thursday was another strong one with the fast-growing company reporting buoyant trading for Q3 and the first nine months of the year up to the end of January.
In Q3, group revenue rose to £407 million, up by 17% on a reported basis and 12% currency-neutral. And in the nine months, revenue rose to £1.17 billion, a 25% reported rise and a 19% currency-neutral increase.
Performance in the quarter was driven by luxury watches, “where demand continues to exceed supply”. In fact, luxury watches rose 22% during the period at reported rates to £340 million, representing 84% of revenue, which was up from 80% a year earlier. Growth was driven both by an increase in average selling price and higher volumes.
Luxury jewellery sales rose 2% at reported rates to £41 million, reflecting the company’s continued focus on full-price sales as the average selling price rose during the quarter.
Group e-commerce revenue was up 5% on last year at reported rates with continued investment in its omnichannel strategy through improved product ranging, increasing availability for next-day delivery and expanding its virtual boutique team offering expert client services.
Pre-owned also continues to trade well delivering strong revenue growth in both the UK and the US.
The company also said that US revenue rose 36% at reported rates and 22% currency-neutral to £169 million. Excluding acquisitions currency-neutral revenue growth was 17%.
In the UK and Europe revenue growth was 7% to £238 million with the UK performance continuing to be driven by domestic shoppers with a limited return of tourist spending.
The company has been opening and refurbishing a large number of stores in the UK and has also moved into Europe, opening its fifth monobrand boutique, with Omega in Stockholm. It will open its first monobrand boutique in Dublin with TAG Heuer this month.
CEO Brian Duffy said: “I am pleased with our strong Q3 performance which is testament to our continued investment in leading showroom design, the strength of our brand partnerships, our scale, our dedication to omnichannel excellence, and our exceptional client service. Demand remains strong and continues to exceed supply, with client registration lists growing.
“Looking ahead, we remain confident that our strategy will further enhance our leadership position as we continue to deliver on our Long Range Plan objectives.”
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