Several major transactions involving luxury companies took place in the last quarter 2020, with analysts forecasting more mergers and acquisitions activity in the months to come. Luxury titans, private equity investors and Chinese conglomerates are leading the fray.
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Over the past twelve months FHH Journal has reported on watch industry news, covering everything from the markets to brands and their products. Here, in brief, are some of the events that marked this unusual year.
Half-year results for the main luxury groups show that sales fell by between 25% and 45%. Signs of an upturn are beginning to appear, in particular at points of sale.
Released mid-March, the third Morgan Stanley report, in collaboration with LuxeConsult, on the Swiss watch market shows that out of some 350 brands, the bulk of growth in 2019 came from the seven whose turnover exceeds CHF 1 billion. The analysis also highlights the outperformance of privately owned brands.
The outbreak of coronavirus could weigh heavily on watch brands' bottom line, given that the traditional Lunar New Year spending spree didn't happen. Asia, excluding the Middle East, accounts for 44% of Swiss watch exports, suggesting a chaotic year ahead.
An ongoing drop in volume exports, an inexplicable intervention by the competition watchdog, problems in Hong Kong, individual exhibition strategies... the face of the Swiss watch industry is changing in 2020.