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Swiss watchmaking in April 2012: growth loses momentum
Economy

Swiss watchmaking in April 2012: growth loses momentum

Thursday, 24 May 2012
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The value of Swiss watchmaking exports reached 1.7 billion francs in April. The 7.9% growth calculated against the month of April 2011 reflected a slowdown following an excellent first quarter. This increase is less pronounced but still robust. It suffered in particular from the unfavourable base effect, since April 2011 had seen a progression in excess of 30%. Despite this slowdown, April still achieved the highest value in absolute terms since the beginning of the year.

The value growth in April was mainly attributable to gold watch exports. Bimetal watches also contributed, while steel products experienced their first fall in more than two years. The number of pieces exported turned out to be stable: rising quantities of watches in some materials were offset by falling volumes in others.

Source : Fédération de l'industrie horlogère suisse FH

Timepieces costing less than 500 francs (export price) were relatively close to the branch average in April. On the other hand, the 500-3000 francs category penalised the global result: down 7.7% in value terms and 3.7% in the number of pieces. Sales of watches costing more than 3000 francs continued to make strong headway with marked growth in both volume (+7.7%) and value (+16.1%). During the first four months of the year, all the segments reported growth, but the luxury category stood out with rates close to +20%.

Source : Fédération de l'industrie horlogère suisse FH

The main markets showed mixed trends in April. While Hong Kong set the general tone, the United States reported a fall, notably because of a highly unfavourable base effect. China remained one of the most dynamic markets. In Europe, France and Italy recorded a fall, while Germany, in seventh position, experienced monthly growth of 24.0%.

Source : Fédération de l'industrie horlogère suisse FH
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