Rolex has announced another record year of sales and profits for its UK operation.
Turnover increased by 12% to £367 million for the company in the UK and Ireland in 2018; more than double the value of sales just five years ago in 2014.
Income rose even more sharply, with operating profit rising by 33% to £55.5 million
The company paid £10.6 million in corporation tax, another record for the operation. In a note accompanying the 2018, the company strongly asserts that as part of its reputation management, it pays all UK taxes “without any planning that is artificial or contrived and designed to reduce UK tax”.
Rolex Watch Company Limited accounts paint a steady as she goes picture of business in the UK and Ireland. There have not been any significant changes to the company’s principal activity as a Rolex Holding SA’s distribution and watch servicing operation in the UK and it does not expect any major changes in the next year, the report describes.
A significant rise in the profit margin was the only notable issue, which the accounts describe as down to a combination of factors including improvements in mix, price, volume and control on the growth of operating profits.
The number of staff was virtually unchanged at 192, but the wage bill did rise significantly from £11.2 million to £12.8 million (+14%).
Rolex does reveal it was part of a move to stockpile product in the UK in the first quarter of 2019 ahead of what was looking — at the time the accounts were signed-off — as the key period for exiting the European Union.
“The potential risk to disruption through supply delays caused by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has been mitigated by planning to bring stock purchases forwards into the first quarter of 2019,” a note with the accounts says.
In the first two months of 2019, exports to the UK by all Swiss watchmakers were up 40.9%, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.