Watches of Switzerland powers ahead in latest year

The first set of results released by Watches of Switzerland since the company floated on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) back in May have shown just what attracted investors to the business. Its pre-tax profit surged and its revenues rose in high double-digits in the year to the end of April.



Watches of Switzerland

The company, which owns Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths and US-based Mayors, as well as the chain after which it's named, said that revenue rose 22.5% to £773.5 million and its pre-tax profit was up an impressive 181% to £20.1 million.

Adjusted EBITDA for the group was also up a healthy 17.6% to £68.8 million.

The company saw strength in both jewellery and watches, although the latter was the standout performer in the latest year. The luxury watch division saw its revenues rising by 28.3% to reach £631.4 million. This division made up 82% of total group sales so its strength is good news for the company.

But luxury jewellery is also important, even though it's a smaller unit, and its like-for-like sales rose 3% during the year with a 10% increase on a like-for-like basis in the UK and a 7% uplift in the US.

The company also saw stronger online sales with an 18% e-commerce rise.

The firm is expanding steadily and said its expansion into the underdeveloped luxury watch market in the US is on track.

It also said current trading in the first 11 weeks of FY20 is encouraging and there’s “a strong pipeline of projects in both the UK and US, including expansions and refurbishments of existing showrooms and the continued roll out of new showrooms.”

The company first floated in London with a valuation of £647 million although share price rises since May have puts its current valuation at £706 million.

CEO Brian Duffy said of the IPO and results: “I am delighted that the group’s five-year transformation has culminated in a successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange. The 2019 financial year has been a fantastic year. We have continued our trajectory of strong, profitable growth in our core markets of the UK and the US. Current trading remains encouraging and we are confident of meeting the Board’s expectations for the financial year ending April 2020.

“We are the UK’s leading luxury watch retailer, hold a growing position in the US market, and operate in a highly attractive market in which demand for luxury watches generally outstrips supply. We are well positioned to deliver on our strategy and look forward to achieving continued growth in the year ahead.”

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