Watches of Switzerland profits soar, buys four Fraser Hart showrooms
today Dec 10, 2019
Watches of Switzerland continues to prosper and on Tuesday reported surging profits and revenues, saying that the market for luxury watches in the UK and the US remains robust.
In the six months ended October 27, its revenue rose 17.3% to reach £428.7 million with like-for-like sales up 10.3%. That helped its adjusted pre-tax profit more than double, rising 112% to £26.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA rose 23.5% to £41.2 million.
Unlike some in the UK retail sector, it was able to report strong growth in its domestic market with UK revenues rising 10.6% to £317.6 million. Like-for-like revenue there rose 11%. Meanwhile in the US, its sales powered ahead by 42.1% to reach £111.1 million, helped by a 7.5% rise in like-for-like sales and a number of new showrooms being opened.
Revenue from its luxury watches was 21.6% to £365.5 million although luxury jewellery revenue was down 2.5% to £31.5 million, (although it did say that UK jewellery like-for-likes rose 6.2%). Those figures are interesting given that some in the ultra-luxury segment have said that it's jewellery that's driving sales at the moment rather than watches.
But for this company, demand for high-end watches remains strong and it's expanding its reach with the acquisition of four new showrooms currently trading under the Fraser Hart name in Stratford, Brent Cross, Kingston and York.
Stratford and Brent Cross will be rebranded as Watches of Switzerland with Kingston and York being renamed Mappin & Webb.
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