Swiss watch manufactures Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin were “heavily impacted by sharp contraction in their market,” according to a report on Kering Group’s first half of its financial year to the end of July.
Last week the business unit revealed that restructuring measures would lead to around 100 jobs being lost, around one quarter of its workforce.
Almost 60% of total revenue at Kering comes from its blockbuster brand Gucci.
Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux sit within Kering’s “Other Houses”, which represent 18% of the group’s €5.2 billion for the six months to the end of July. Watches and jewellery amount to 6% of group turnover.
Sales for brands within Other Houses – such as Brioni and the watches brands – have launched in-depth transformation processes but were hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, Kering says.
“This was even more the case for Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin given that the global watches market has been fragile for several years now and contracted sharply in the first half of 2020,” the group’s H1 financial statement adds.
Last week’s additional statement detailing further restructuring measures says: “The sudden sales downturn caused by the pandemic, and thereafter, the watch sector’s timid recovery, have led to the decision to scale down these manufacturing capabilities.”
Patrick Pruniaux, chief executive of Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux added that the economic damage wrought by this year’s crisis is, “likely to have a ripple effect over the next several years”.