Swiss watch exports rise in April as Hong Kong booms

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss watch manufacturer Breguet is seen at the Baselworld watch and jewellery fair in Basel, Switzerland, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss watch exports rose 13.8 percent in April to 1.76 billion Swiss francs ($1.77 billion), powered by a boom in the crucial Hong Kong market, trade data showed on Tuesday.

The news is a boon for Swiss watchmakers such as Swatch Group UHR.S and Richemont CFR.S.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) noted that exports rebounded after a slack March. Cumulative watch industry exports totaled 6.7 billion francs in the first four months of the year, an increase of 11 percent.

In April, watch exports to Hong Kong swelled 43.4 percent, the highest in the past six years, it said.

“After some hesitation, the United States also seems to be confirming the return to positive territory with an increase of 12.8 percent against April 2017,” FH said.

Exports to China increased 11.0 percent and to Japan by 9.1 percent. In Europe, Germany was up 12.8 percent while exports to the United Kingdom fell 14.7 percent, it said, noting the situation there had deteriorated sharply in the past three months.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter