Sunday, July 21, 2024

Watches of Switzerland CEO “proud” of performance “in what was undoubtedly a more challenging market”

Watches of Switzerland Group has seen a flat year for revenue, while profits have declined in challenging trading conditions.

According to results for the 52 weeks ended 28 April 2024, the luxury watch and jewellery retailer saw group revenue of just over £1.5bn, in line with results from the year prior, at reported rates, and up 2% at constant currency.

The business noted that demand for its key brands continued to be strong and outstripping supply.

Statutory profit before tax, however, was £92m, down from £155m.

Looking ahead, Watches of Switzerland Group said: “Following the more challenging trading conditions of FY24, we are cautiously optimistic about trading in FY25.”

Brian Duffy, Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am proud of the performance that our team delivered this year in what was undoubtedly a more challenging market. We cemented our position as a leading international luxury watch and jewellery retailer and delivered further market share gains in both the UK and US, driven by our proven, differentiated business model. In particular, our US business went from strength to strength, growing 11% and will soon represent half of Group sales.

“The UK market is starting to show signs of stabilisation. In FY24, UK and Europe sales were down 5% impacted by significant price increases overall at a time of reduced consumer confidence influencing discretionary spending, and we see these pressures easing in FY25.

“During the year, we continued to invest for high-quality growth across showroom projects and strategic acquisitions including the 15 Ernest Jones showrooms acquired last November, and the acquisition of Roberto Coin Inc. post year end, which dramatically accelerates our luxury branded jewellery strategy.

“We have an impressive programme of showroom developments on both sides of the Atlantic and our strongest ever pipeline of committed projects, which includes the flagship Rolex boutique on Old Bond Street, London, Audemars Piguet Townhouse in Manchester, Rolex boutique in Atlanta, Georgia and a Rolex anchored multi-brand in Plano, Texas.

“Pre-owned represents a significant opportunity for our Group, with pre-owned luxury watch sales doubling year-on-year in Q4 FY24. Within this category, the new Rolex Certified Pre-Owned programme is performing ahead of our expectations in both the US and UK and is set for further roll-out in FY25 with improved methods of supply in the UK.

“Our strategic momentum underpins our confidence in our FY25 guidance and Long Range Plan objectives of doubling sales and profit by 2028, capitalising on our leading market positions and the unique growth opportunities ahead.”

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