The Watches of Switzerland Group has increased global revenue by 29% to £197 million in the second quarter of its 2019 financial year, ended October 28.
Sales for the six months to October are up 30%, showing the impact of the group’s acquisition of Mayors in the United States in October 2018.
Like-for-like same store sales were up 10.4% at constant exchange rates in Q2. US sales were up 12.8% while UK turnover rose by 5.2%.
“I am delighted to announce strong second quarter results. Our excellent sales growth — both in-store and online — and increasing customer conversion and average selling price is testament to our proven strategy. As the leader in the UK luxury watch and jewellery market, and in the growing US market, we continue to transform the sector and grow the market,” says Brian Duffy, CEO of The Watches of Switzerland Group (pictured top at the opening of Watches of Switzerland in Manhattan alongside Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern).
Publicising quarterly financial figures rather than annual accounts filed at Companies House is further evidence that the group is gearing up for a public listing or sale of the business, with a London listing in the first half of next year considered the most likely exit route for the business’s private equity owner Apollo Global Management.
Luxury watches have become critical to growth for the group. Earlier this year Mr Duffy said that watches now account for 73% of sales.
UK luxury watch sales rose by 10.2% in Q2, despite lower football and tourist numbers in the country. US luxury watch sales rose 16.8% for the same period.
Ecommerce sales for luxury watches rose by 32.4%, despite the American Watches of Switzerland site still needing improvements to make it fully transactional. Rolex and Patek Philippe cannot be sold online by any authorised dealer in the world.
The volume end of the market remains challenging for fashion and classic jewellery and watches selling for under £500. The group saw sales drop by 23.2% in the sector, which now accounts for only 6.7% of total sales; down from 8.3% a year ago.
The business disposed of six Goldsmiths stores in September this year, with T.H. Baker taking up the leases.