Watches of Switzerland growth story continues, unveils first move into Europe
Watches of Switzerland continued to prosper in Q3 — the 13 weeks to the end of January — and the company’s strong trading means it now expects its full-year figures to be near the top end of its earlier forecast.
On Thursday the watches and jewellery retailer also highlighted its multi-brand and mono-brand opening plans for the rest of its financial year and next year in both the UK and US, plus its entry into the European market that will happen this calendar year.
Looking first at the figures, it said Q3 FY22 group revenue was up 27.9% on a constant currency basis (CCY) to £348.1 million, and it rose 36.5% compared to two years ago. No profit figures were given.
Year to date revenue was up 38% on the year and 39.2% against two years ago.
It said Q3 sales of luxury watches rose 21% on last year with demand continuing to be “very strong in both the UK and the US, consistently exceeding supply”.
Meanwhile, luxury jewellery was up 88.4% on last year “reflecting a strong market, continued improvement in ranging and the incremental growth from the Betteridge acquisition and the opening of our first Bvlgari boutique”.
The company also said group e-commerce sales fell 1.1% on last year when UK stores were only open for four weeks out of 13 due to lockdowns. But e-tail sales were up 123.1% against two years ago.
Geographically, the company said Q3 UK revenue rose 20.1% to £223.5 million and was up 22% on a two-year basis. The UK performance continued to be driven by a “thriving domestic clientele” with sales benefiting from its omnichannel approach supported by increased digital marketing. Luxury watches rose 15.2% on the year and luxury jewellery rose 55.7%.
In its domestic market, the company has rolled out the Goldsmiths luxury concept to a further five stores and its mono-brand boutique network has been enhanced with three further TAG Heuer boutiques. Plus the refurbishment of Mappin & Webb in Regent Street is a key development.
In the US, revenue of £124.6 million was up 44.6% on the year and 72.3% against two years ago. Luxury watches grew 32.4% and luxury jewellery surged 172.6%. As mentioned, that was helped by the Betteridge acquisition at the start of December and the opening of its first Bvlgari boutique in Florida.
And of course, that group strategy to grow in Europe is also significant with the firm set to open in Sweden, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland in the first half of its new financial year. That’s a key strategic move for the business that’s clearly hoping it can replicate its UK and US success in these new markets.
CEO Brian Duffy said: “I am pleased to report continued strong momentum for our group following a successful Christmas trading period. We have delivered impressive growth in both luxury watches and luxury jewellery in both the UK and US markets demonstrating the value of our portfolio of world leading partner brands.
“I am also pleased to report a strong sales performance of the five stores acquired in the year and a great contribution from our new colleagues.”
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