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Swatch Group 2011 Profit Advances 18% as Chinese Buy Watches

Swatch Group AG, the largest maker of Swiss watches, reported an 18 percent gain in 2011 profit as Chinese consumers bought more Omega and Breguet timepieces.

Net income rose to 1.27 billion Swiss francs ($1.4 billion) from 1.07 billion francs a year earlier, the Biel-based company commented in an e-mailed statement today. The average of 15 analysts’ estimates gathered by Bloomberg was 1.28 billion francs.

“Swatch Group is well prepared for the future,” the company said. “We expect growth to continue in 2012, although this is more and more challenging due to the high benchmark.”

Swiss watch exports rose 19 percent last year to a record as Asian consumers fueled a boom in luxury timepieces.

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