ZURICH Oct 3 Swatch Group SA, the
world's largest watchmaker, intends to keep production in
Switzerland despite the strength of the franc, its chief
executive was quoted as saying.
Due to the strong franc, some companies in Switzerland have
warned they may have to move production abroad in a bid to lower
"We want to keep the companies, the jobs and the production
in Switzerland," Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek was quoted saying
in a preview of Thursday's edition of Handelszeitung. "In other
countries too the exchange rate, wages, taxes and social
insurance will change one day."
The group, famous for its colourful plastic watches, also
owns brands such as Longines, Omega and Tissot.
Despite the strong franc, watch exports from Switzerland
have grown strongly over the past year, in part because buyers
value them for their quality and are therefore less sensitive to
Last year, Swatch Group achieved a record 7 billion Swiss
francs ($7.5 billion) in sales despite the strong franc. For
this year it is hoping for 8 billion, yet due to slowing growth
in China, a top market for watches, it will have to work hard to
achieve that goal, Hayek said last week.
($1 = 0.9378 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Editing by David Holmes)