Watches of Switzerland profits rise amid strong UK, US demand
Watches of Switzerland posted a jump in interim profit on Tuesday as it hailed "robust" markets for luxury watches in both the UK and US.
In the half year to 27 October, adjusted pre-tax profit rose 112% to £26.5m on group revenue of £428.7m, up 17.3%. Like-for-like sales were up 10.3%, with growth driven by higher luxury watch sales.
In the UK, revenue rose 10.6% to £317.6m, with LFL sales up 11% amid "strong" demand and improved average selling prices. In the US, meanwhile, revenue was 42.1% higher at £111.1m, boosted by the contribution from new showrooms, while LFL sales rose 7.5%.
Luxury watch revenue was 21.6% higher at £365.5m, but revenue from luxury jewellery dipped 2.5% to £31.5m.
The company said demand continues to exceed supply, on Rolex in particular.
Chief executive officer Brian Duffy said: "Strong progress was made in both the UK and US markets as we continue to deliver on our growth plans.
"The growth in revenue and profitability is testament to the distinctive luxury experience we provide. Customers continue to react very positively to our showroom portfolio elevation programme - as reflected in increased average selling price, conversion rates, and sales uplift. Our showroom projects in the UK and US have been a success in the year to date. Our omni-channel strategy continues as we expand our mono-brand programme in the UK along with mono-brand openings planned in the US, expansions in UK Travel retail and continued momentum online."
At 0820 GMT, the shares were up 1.8% at 329.80p.