Watches of Switzerland lifts guidance after sparkling H1 performance

Watches of Switzerland – led by Glaswegian chief executive Brian Duffy – has lifted its sales and earnings guidance on the back of a strong post-pandemic recovery.

By Emma Newlands and Henry Saker-Clark
Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 12:09 pm

The luxury watch and jewellery retailer has revealed that group revenues saw a year-on-year jump of 44.6 per cent to £586.2 million for the six months to October 31, with "continued strong demand" for both luxury watches and jewellery amid higher sales volumes.

The group, which debuted on the London Stock Exchange in 2019, says it is the UK’s largest luxury watch retailer, also operating in the US, and including the Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths, and Mayors brands.

It said its core UK operation reported a "robust" performance buoyed by a thriving domestic business, amid fewer tourist shoppers, with revenue up 42.3 per cent to £418.6m.

The group said it has seen 'continued strong demand' for luxury watches. Picture: contributed.

The group now expects annual revenues of between £1.15 billion and £1.2bn for the current full year, up from its previous target of £1.05bn to £1.1bn. It also increased its earnings margin guidance for the year.

Additionally, it hailed 50.2 per cent growth in US revenues to £167.6m in the period and said it is continuing its expansion strategy in the country – with Plano (Dallas), Texas; Vail and Aspen, Colorado; Greenwich, Connecticut; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, chosen for new stores.

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Mr Duffy said: “We are very pleased with our first-half performance. Over the last two years, we have demonstrated the versatility of our multi-channel model with a more than doubling of sales to domestic clients and within this half year a significant change in brand mix.

'We are very pleased with our first-half performance,' says the firm's Scottish boss Brian Duffy. Picture: contributed.

“We continue to build on a growing foundation in the US, further strengthening our position through the agreement to purchase five stores in four new states.

“The strength of our performance, both in our well-established UK business and in our growing US business, coupled with our confidence in the luxury watch and jewellery categories, has led us to upgrade our guidance for the full year.”

As of October 31, the group has 158 stores across the UK and US including some solely dedicated to, say, Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega and Breitling. Additionally, Mappin & Webb holds Royal warrants as goldsmiths, silversmiths and jeweller to The Queen and silversmiths to The Prince of Wales.

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