Watchmaker Swatch fuels profit with sales boom

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The world's biggest watchmaker, Swatch Group, on Tuesday posted a 41 percent increase in annual net profit to 1.08 billion Swiss francs in 2010, as sales enjoyed an Asian driven boom.

The Swiss group confirmed in a statement that full year gross sales reached a record 6.4 billion francs, (6.6 billion dollars, 6.9 billion euros) even though the result was eroded by the lasting strength of the Swiss franc against major currencies.

The watchmaking boom over the past year has largely been driven by soaring demand in Asia, according to data from the Swiss watchmaking federation.

Swatch, which makes brands ranging from the eponymous plastic watch to brands such as Tissot, Omega, Longines and Blancpain, said it was aiming for more growth, targeting sales of 10 billion francs "in the medium term".

"The strong uptrend seen in 2010 was confirmed again in January 2011," it added.

"The current outlook for 2011 appears positive, despite the unfavorable currency constellation at present, particularly the US dollar and the euro against the Swiss franc," it added.

© 2011 AFP

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