Swatch Group boss Nick Hayek has downplayed the effects of the recent turmoil in the Chinese markets telling a Swiss newspaper that his brands’ sales in China continue to rise.
“This year as well we will sell the Chinese in China and outside of China more than last year in local currencies,” he told Schweiz am Sonntag.
Hayek pointed out that Swatch itself was witnessing 15% growth in local currencies while the group’s other brands, which include Omega, Tissot, Longines and Breguet, were all achieving single figure growth.
Despite the strength of the Swiss Franc Hayek also told the newspaper that sales within Switzerland itself were healthy, with the popular tourist towns of Lucerne and Interlaken reporting sales up by 50% or more during July and August.
“We never had such good numbers, and that of course has to do with the Chinese, who are on holiday here," he added.
In the interview, Hayek dismissed any threat from the Apple Watch and reported that US sales of mechanical watches had risen by a factor of four or five in recent months. He also confirmed that Swatch Group-controlled Belenos Clean Power would begin production of next generation, high capacity batteries next year.