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Watches of Switzerland Group sales rise 18% to £209 million in its first quarter

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Watches of Switzerland Group’s first quarter of trading since becoming a publicly listed company has seen sales grow by 17.8% to £209.4 million thanks in part to the continuing growth of its store network.

Stripping out new store growth, the company’s turnover increased by 10.8% on a like for like basis.

There was no update on profits in the quarterly financial statement for the three months to July 28.

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Three quarters of group turnover, £155 million, continues to come from the UK, where it owns Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland, Watchshop and The Watch Lab.

 

 

In America, where the company owns the Mayors chain in Florida and Altanta, and new Watches of Switzerland multibrand and monobrand stores in New York, Boston and Las Vegas, sales were up 32.4% at constant currency. On a like for like basis, which is effectively the Mayors performance on its own, turnover was up 8.7% in the quarter.

Luxury watches now account for almost 85% of turnover at £177.4 million for the quarter after year on year growth of 22.8%.

 

 

Luxury jewellery sales dropped by 4.6% to £16.2 million due largely to the closure of 12 stores. The financial report does not say which stores were disposed of.

“Our first quarter as a listed business saw continued strong underlying growth in both the UK and US supported by the expansion of our showroom portfolio. Our focus on store upgrades and store customer service, supported by increasing digital and social marketing and closer collaboration with brand partners, is working,” says Brian Duffy, chief executive officer of The Watches of Switzerland Group.

Shares in the group were priced at 275 pence on their opening day of trading and rose sharply to 309 pence in their first week, but have been drifting lower since. Today the price is roughly back to its IPO level of 280 pence.

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Rob Corder

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