Breitling UK Ltd wholesale sales dropped by 6% in 2017 but operating profit almost trebled as the business refined its distribution and helped retailers increase sell-through. Turnover dipped to £39.7 million in the year ending December 31, 2017, compared to £42.2 million in 2016.
Operating profit soared from £379,000 in 2016 to £1.1 million in a year that saw £2.7 million in administrative expenses slashed from the business.
The number of Breitling employees rose from 104 to 110, with six additional heads in the watch repair department, which now employs 59 people in the UK.
An electronic warranty system introduced in the UK in 2016 has given Breitling perfect transparency over what is selling-through to consumers at each of its retail partners, and this data shows that retail sales actually rose in 2017.
“Sell-out recorded via Breitling’s e-Warranty data demonstrated market share grew further with a 4% increase in sales via the network while the overall stock within the Point of Sales reduced proving better efficiency for our partners,” Breitling UK managing director Gavin Murphy describes.
Breitling appointed a new chief executive in 2018, with Georges Kern taking control. He announced that rationalising the company’s product line, working with retailers to improve business processes and boosting the impact of marketing are his top priorities.