Swatch Group AG posted an 8.3 percent drop in first-half earnings, the first consecutive decline for the period in at least a decade, as the strong franc and weak demand in Hong Kong weighed on demand for Swiss watches.
Operating profit fell to 761 million francs ($798 million), the Biel, Switzerland-based owner of the Omega and Tissot brands said today. That beat the 741.7 million-franc average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
Swiss watchmakers are confronted with price adjustments around the world as the franc has surged to record levels against the euro this year. The country’s watch exports declined the most since 2009 in May, with a 34 percent plunge to Hong Kong, where weak demand has persisted since political protests broke out last year.
The company said it has a “positive” outlook for the second half after sales accelerated in May and June. “Further positive growth in local currency is expected.”