Watch sales within LVMH are expected to grow between five and seven percent this year according to the group’s head of watchmaking.
Speaking to Reuters at the recent groundbreaking ceremony of Hublot’s manufacture extension at Nyon, Switzerland, Jean-Claude Biver said the group’s watch sales were set to be in line with growth expected across the Swiss watch industry.
“For the Swiss watch industry as a whole, I see five to seven percent sales growth this year. For us, it will be about the same".
Commenting on potential growth within China, Biver suggested some LVMH brands would have to adapt in order to succeed saying: "The Chinese don’t like sports watches like those made by TAG Heuer or Hublot very much, for them they don’t carry prestige, but this is going to change. Meanwhile, we may adapt a little to their taste”.
Biver also mentioned that watch sales in Europe were still being supported by visiting Chinese, Russian and Brazilian tourists – a trend he said would continue this year.
Also speaking to Reuters at the event, Hublot chief executive Ricardo Guadalupe explained the CHF 20 million investment in the Hublot’s manufacture was to increase the percentage of in-house movements being offered in Hublot watches.
"In about three to five years, 75 percent of our mechanical watches will be equipped with our proprietary movements, against about 30 percent currently”.
Guadalupe added that the Nyon site was large enough to support another extension in the coming years should the brand’s growth rate continue.