Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group AG’s 2015 earnings missed analysts’ expectations due to strong exchange rates and falling demand for Swiss watch industry exports, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Shares of the company were down 0.5 percent during morning trade on the Swiss stock exchange.
The company forecast a modest pickup in sales in 2016 of “well over 5 percent” in local currencies in 2016, supported by a rebound of demand in mainland China and growth in January. The maker of Tissot and Omega timepieces added that the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which start in August, would give Omega — the official Games timekeeper — an additional boost.
Net profit for the quarter dropped by 21 percent or by a fifth compared to a year ago to 1.12 billion Swiss francs ($1.10 billion). Analysts had expected the company to earn 1.56 billion Swiss francs, according to Bloomberg.
The results are “clearly below expectations and we will reduce our estimates by 5 to 10 percent,” Bloomberg cited Rene Weber, an analyst at Bank Vontobel, as saying. Weber said he considers the company’s 2016 sales outlook “very optimistic” and believes it would be closer to a 1 percent growth.
Swatch’s 2015 sales were down 3 percent to 8.45 billion Swiss francs ($8.3 billion) — the first time the watchmaker’s sales declined in 6 years. Swatch also announced plans to buy back as much as 1 billion francs ($982.2 million) of stock through February 2019.
European multinational luxury goods maker LVMH, which runs Hublot and TAG Heuer brands of timepieces, said Tuesday that growth in its watches and jewelry division decelerated to 3 percent in the December quarter from 10 percent in the first nine months of the year.