Swatch’s ambitious goal of earning $8.1 billion in 2012 is on track, according to CEO Nick Hayek. Last year’s sales broke records at $7.5 billion for the Swiss watchmaker.
This year’s economic slowdown in China has been a cause of considerable anxiety for producers of high-end watches and other luxury goods, but Hayek says Swatch is uniquely positioned to ride out the storm. “I am far more worried about the increasing influence of finance than I am about possible problems in China,” he said in an interview for the German newspaper Handelsblatt.
As the world’s largest watchmaker, Swatch’s portfolio of brands includes Breguet, Blancpain, Jaquet Droz, Glashütte Original, Omega, Tiffany & Co., Rado, Longines and Tissot. The list goes on to include Calvin Klein, Certina, Mido, Pierre Balmain, Hamilton, Flik Flak and Endura. Such a diversity in offerings allows the company to fall back on less expensive, mass market products when times get tough in the luxury market, says Hayek.
When speaking of this year’s $8.1 billion earnings goal Hayek was resolute, admitting “It’s ambitious. We are going to fight for it.”
Despite the soaring Swiss franc against the beleaguered euro, Swatch’s balance sheet last year showed record growth of 11% for the company based in Biel, Switzerland.