Markets News

Swatch Group sales almost halve, posts net loss in first half

ZURICH, July 14 (Reuters) - Swatch Group said it expected sales and profits to improve quickly in the second half after the COVID-19 pandemic led it to post a net loss in the first half of the year.

Swiss watchmakers have seen their sales slide as the pandemic led to store closures, first in Asia then in Europe and the United States, and Chinese tourists, their most important customers, could not travel and shop.

Sales fell 46% to 2.2 billion Swiss francs ($2.34 billion) in the first half, the maker of Omega timepieces said in a statement released without advance notice on Tuesday. It posted a net loss of 308 million Swiss francs, after a net profit of 415 million francs in the year-ago period. ($1 = 0.9417 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz Editing by Mihcelle Martin)