Wednesday 21 August 2019

Sales tick up at Watches of Switzerland as luxury watches shine

The UK’s biggest retailer of Rolex watches revealed a strong set of maiden results since joining the stock market in May.

Watches of Switzerland revealed its first set of results since listing, with sales of luxury watches up (PA)
Watches of Switzerland revealed its first set of results since listing, with sales of luxury watches up (PA)

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

Big spenders in the City are snapping up luxury watches in huge numbers, according to newly listed Watches of Switzerland.

The company, which joined the London stock market in May, said sales in the year to April 28 jumped 22.5% to £773.5 million, with pre-tax profits hitting £20.1 million.

Sales of luxury watch sales were particularly impressive, jumping 28% to £631.4 million, and accounting for 82% of all sales.

To cash in on the rise and rise in demand, the company said it would open a new store in the heart of the Square Mile in London, surrounded by some of the highest-earning workers in the country.

Watches of Switzerland is the UK’s largest retailer of Rolex, Cartier, Omega, TAG Heuer and Breitling watches and has used its size to expand throughout the year.

Trading as Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Mayors, bosses spent £33.8 million on expansions, including seven new showrooms – with sites opened in New York, Las Vegas and London – and 11 refurbishments.

The company will now turn its attentions to the US, where the company believes it is ripe for expansion.

Bosses also revealed that the money raised from the recent listing on the stock market, which valued the firm at £647 million, has been used to scrap its high-interest corporate bonds.

Chief executive Brian Duffy, said: “Current trading remains encouraging and we are confident of meeting the Board’s expectations for the financial year ending April 2020.

“We are the UK’s leading luxury watch retailer, hold a growing position in the US market, and operate in a highly attractive market in which demand for luxury watches generally outstrips supply.

“We are well positioned to deliver on our strategy and look forward to achieving continued growth in the year ahead.”

Watches of Switzerland has been one of the few successful stock market flotations of recent times, following a string of businesses that have seen their share price collapse.

The watch business listed at 270p a share and rose to 294p by lunchtime on Wednesday.

PA Media

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