Swiss watch exports increase by 10.2% in September

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Isabelle Crossley
today Oct 20, 2019
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Swiss watch exports grew by 10.2% in September, compared to September 2018, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry announced on Thursday.

Exports totalled 1.8 billion Swiss Francs as growth in the U.S. and Asia helped to offset the decline in Hong Kong.

A watch by Hublot

Watch exports to Hong Kong continued to fall in September, as the area was shaken by pro-democracy protests. Exports saw an annual decline of 4.6%, according to the federation. 

“For the third time this year, the US has taken first place, thanks to a 14.7% rise in September,” the federation said in a statement which detailed its statistics.

Hong Kong is traditionally the largest export market for Swiss watchmakers as many Asian tourists, especially Chinese, travel there to shop for luxury goods. However, exports have decreased month after month since the start of the demonstrations. 

Other markets in the region have recorded “very high” levels of growth, the federation highlighted. Exports to China rose by 26%, exports to Japan by 31.6%, and exports to Singapore by 20.5%.

Exports to Europe’s major markets also rose with 14.4% growth in Germany, 15.6% in France, and 7.2% in Italy. On the other hand, the federation saw only a modest increase of 0.6% in exports to the UK, where Swiss watchmakers had built up significant stocks at the beginning of the year in the face of uncertainties over Brexit.

Since the start of the year, watch exports have increased by 2.8% compared to the first nine months of 2018 reaching 15.9 billion Swiss Francs, according to the federation.

At 10.12 GMT, shares of the Richemont group, number two in the world of luxury, climbed by 2.34% to 75.24 Swiss Francs.

The watch brand Swatch Group also saw an increase in share value of 1.43% to 269 Swiss Francs while the SMI, the benchmark index of the Swiss stock exchange, rose by 0.52%.

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