Salon QP changes hands
Salon QP and QP Magazine have been sold by Telegraph Media Group to Hearst UK. The deal is part of a wider acquisition of assets by Hearst, which also includes Telegraph Events’ Be:FIT fitness and wellbeing festival for women. Salon QP is an exhibition that brings together fine watchmakers, collectors and connoisseurs for an annual gathering in November each year. QP Magazine is now published four times per year in print form, and has been developing as a digital resource in recent years. The exhibition will become part of Hearst Live, which last year ran over 100 events.
Historic Performances in 2017 for Kering
while operating profit (EBITDA) jumped 49.4% year on year to €3,464 million delivering a margin of 22.4% (+3.7 percentage points). Watches & Jewelry brands continued to deliver firm growth in sales, up 8.7% on a comparable basis. “The performance of the Group’s Jewelry Houses in 2017 reflects the implementation of their growth and investment strategies”, says Kering. “Watches posted sales growth, propelled by the success of their classic and innovative products.”
Chanel’s commitment to the renovation of the Grand Palais in Paris
Chanel demonstrates its commitment to the Grand Palais in becoming the exclusive and historic sponsor of its renovation project scheduled to begin in December 2020 and culminate in 2024. True to an initiative taken by its founder Gabrielle Chanel, the House will reinforce its commitment to Paris through a new, exclusive and historic sponsorship: Chanel will contribute 25 million euros to the restoration and renovation of the Grand Palais. Built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the Grand Palais is one of Europe’s most beautiful historic monuments.
Hermès Sales up 9% in 2017
Sales reached 5.5 billion euros for 2017 as a whole, up 9 percent year-on-year, while fourth-quarter revenues were down 0.4 percent to 1.5 billion euros. Hermès reported a slowdown in sales growth in the fourth quarter as stocks of its coveted handmade bags ran low. “There is good momentum in our industry because of demographics and because of the economic growth of China and the worldwide economy,” said chief executive Axel Dumas. Hermès said operating profitability should be close to the level recorded over the first half of last year, when it hit a record 34 percent.
Guy Sémon appointed Director of the Research Institute for the LVMH Group Watch Division
Guy Sémon has been appointed Director of the Research Institute for the Watch Division of the LVMH Group, which includes the TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith brands. Originally from Montbéliard, Guy Sémon has until now been Director General of TAG Heuer. Having joined the company 14 years ago, he has been responsible for several of the big innovations developed by the brand, including the Monaco V4, chronographs offering extreme accuracy to 1/1000th and 5/10,000ths of a second and, more recently, the famous TAG Heuer Connected. Guy Sémon was also the brains behind the Zenith Defy Lab and the new oscillator. The Research Institute was created to connect and coordinate the diverse Research and Development skills of the LVMH watchmaking centre.
Bucherer has bought America’s largest fine watch business Tourneau
The deal gives Bucherer an immediate network of 28 stores across 10 US states and a fully integrated e-commerce business. Tourneau’s has been owned by private equity firm Green Equity Investors for several years, and rumours of its imminent sale have been growing louder throughout the past 12 months. Bucherer has dramatically expanded its reach in the past year. The Swiss-based business bought The Watch Gallery in the UK in March 2017. The Watch Gallery operates the fine watch department of Selfridges, as well as two standalone boutiques and a Rolex-branded store in London’s Knightsbridge.
Swatch Group net sales increased 5.4% in 2017
Group net sales increased 5.8% to CHF 7’989 million at constant exchange rates, and +5.4% to CHF 7’960 million at current exchange rates. In the Watches & Jewelry segment (excluding Production), the Group recorded sales growth of 6.9% at current exchange rates, meaning a strong acceleration of 12.2% in the second half of the year and in the 4th quarter even 14.9%. December recorded the second best monthly sales in the history of Swatch Group. Overall operating result improved by 24.5% to CHF 1’002 million, and was even up by almost 40% in the second half of the year. Operating margin grew from 10.7% in the previous year to 12.6%.
China set to dominate e-commerce
China is shifting towards a domestic consumption-driven economy, according to Swiss business magazine Bilan. And there is huge potential, particularly for digital. Between 2016 and 2021, China’s e-commerce market is forecast to double in size to reach $840 billion. This compares to $485 billion for the United States (from $322 billion). Some 2.7 billion people worldwide go online. Of these, 765 million are Chinese. This is triple the 260 million US internet users. The greatest potential, however, lies with the number of people who are not yet connected: some 676 million Chinese could go online within the next few years, compared to 59 million in the United States.
IWC, born in the USA
It’s easy to forget – IWC is, after all, very much a Swiss brand with a 150-year existence – but the company was actually founded by an American watchmaker. Florentine Ariosto Jones established his International Watch Company in Schaffhausen in 1868. He chose Switzerland for its skilled and inexpensive (sic!) workforce, the hydropower produced by the Rhine that ran alongside the future factory, and the country’s modern machine-tools. Jones planned to combine these assets with American industrial production methods to make competitively priced, quality watches which he would then export to the United States. And so IWC was born.