Swatch Sales May Barely Grow This Year, CEO Hayek Tells Finanz

Swatch Group AG Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek forecast that sales may barely grow this year, according to Finanz und Wirtschaft.

Revenue growth in 2014 will be 2 percent to 6 percent, the newspaper cited Hayek as saying in an interview. Swatch didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hayek in June told Bloomberg News that Switzerland’s largest watchmaker will probably fall short of double-digit sales growth this year amid unfavorable foreign-exchange rates. A crackdown on extravagance among government officials in China and the weakness of currencies in emerging markets and the U.S. against the Swiss franc has weighed on Swiss watchmakers.

Swatch shares rose 0.6 percent to 488.60 francs at 4:51 p.m. in Zurich trading, paring an earlier gain of as much as 1 percent. The stock has slumped 17 percent this year.

“The year has probably been one to forget for the watch makers given the slowdown in greater China, which has been exacerbated by Hong Kong political issues,” Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich, said in an e-mail.

Currency swings may cut 350 million Swiss francs ($375 million) to 500 million francs from sales this year, Hayek said in June.

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