Watch giant Swatch posts 6 bn francs in 2010 sales
The world's biggest watchmaker Swatch on Wednesday posted record sales of 6.4 billion francs (6.6 billion dollars, 4.95 billion euros) for 2010, and issued a "positive" outlook for this year.
The results were up 18.8 percent compared to 2009, although unfavourable exchange rates have had an impact of 164 million francs or three percent on the sales figure.
"The group expects an improved operating margin and a higher net profit for the financial year 2010 compared with the previous year.
"This improvement will be visible in all areas of the group," said Swatch, giving a preview of its annual earnings results, which would be published on February 24.
However, it noted that "the record figures expected in absolute terms will be attenuated by the extremely strong Swiss franc."
Looking ahead, the group said sales in January were already indicating "double-digit growth in local currencies," heralding another good year ahead.
"The outlook for 2011 remains positive, despite a negative foreign currency development, particularly in the US dollar and the euro, against the Swiss franc," it added.
Swiss exporters have been hit by a soaring franc against major currencies such as the dollar and the euro in recent months, and the government's panel of economists have warned that a slowdown in growth was on the horizon as exports turn more costly.
© 2011 AFP