The Group performed very well in the financial year 2019, despite political uncertainties and an ongoing negative currency situation.
The weakening of the US Dollar and the Euro, as well as other currencies, versus the Swiss Franc in recent months had a negative impact of 76 million francs or 0.9% on sales.
Performance in the second half of the year – excluding Hong Kong– was positive in all regions. Sales in the Group’s own retail stores increased by approximately 2%, despite the negative impact of Hong Kong and a worldwide retail network which was reduced by about 60 stores compared to the previous year.
In Hong Kong, the drop in sales in the second half of 2019 alone was approximately 200 million. The Swatch Group operates more than 90 own retail stores there.
Net sales in the Electronic Systems segment increased by 5.9% to 289 million, with all companies performing positively.
Operating result decreased by -11.4% to 1,023 million compared to previous year. Operating margin was 12.4% (previous year: 13.6%). Net income totaled 748 million (-13.7% compared to previous year) or 9.1% of net sales (previous year: 10.2%).
Across all segments, Swatch Group invested a total of CHF 459 million in non-current operating assets1) in 2019. In addition to further investments in optimization and flexibilization of production capacities, investment was also made in the Group’s own retail network and customer service.
The workforce decreased slightly compared with the previous year by about 3% to approximately 36,100 persons.
The Swatch Group promotes vocational education at all levels. Overall, more than 700 persons in Switzerland and abroad are in training, either as apprentices learning the watchmaker and related technical trades, or as students in the Group’s six international customer service watchmaker schools in Miami, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Pforzheim and Manchester during the course of the year.
At the Annual General Meeting on 14 May 2020, the Board of Directors of the Swatch Group will propose an unchanged dividend of CHF 8.00 per bearer share and CHF 1.60 per registered share.
Group management expects healthy growth in 2020 in all markets in local currency, with the exception of Hong Kong. The currency situation will remain challenging. A special highlight for the Group will be the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, where Omega can uniquely showcase itself in one of the largest luxury markets in the world.
February 06, 2020