February 23, 2009 / 7:09 AM / in 10 years

Swatch Group still sees H2 recovery - paper

ZURICH, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Swatch Group UHR.VX, the world’s largest watchmaker, has seen sales fall 10-14 percent in the last two months but demand is seen recovering in the second half of 2009, the group’s chairman was quoted as saying on Monday.

“We have had positive early indications from our distribution network. It seems that the worst is behind us when we look at the figures for February. But that doesn’t mean we have reached the end of the tunnel yet,” Nicolas Hayek told Swiss newspaper L’Agefi.

The group, which is best known for its colourful plastic Swatch watches and also owns higher-end brands such as Breguet and Blancpain and Omega, said in January it expected 2009 revenue to rise modestly.

The watchmaker currently has no plans to cut jobs, Hayek said, adding this was the last area in which the company would try to cut costs. Swatch Group also has no plans for acquisitions.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and Katie Reid: editing by John Stonestreet

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