// Watches of Switzerland sales surged 31% in its first quarter
// CEO Brian Duffy said demand remained robust and waitlists are growing despite the macro-economic environment
Watches of Switzerland have posted a strong start to the year with demand strong for its luxury products despite the tough consumer environment.
Sales surged 31% to £391 million in the first quarter to 31 July, up 25% on a constant currency basis, despite being pitched against strong comparatives when UK retail was opened up after lockdown last year.
Watches of Switzerland Group chief executive Brian Duffy said it had “strong momentum” in its first quarter to 31 July.
“Despite the well-publicised concerns about the macro-environment, demand for our products remains robust with client registration of interest lists continuing to extend,” he said.
Luxury watches were up 32% over the quarter to £342 million, representing 87% of Watches of Switzerland sales. Luxury jewellery also saw strong growth, up 36% to £27 million.
Sales grew 8% to £239 million in the UK, which it said was driven by “resilient domestic clientele” while revenue doubled at its US business to £152 million.
Duffy said Watches of Switzerland was benefitting from its “distinctive business model – namely our investment in leading store design, the strength of our brand partnerships, our international scale, our bold marketing campaigns, our advanced systems technology, and our dedication to client experience”.
He said: “We continue to focus on attracting new clients and growing market share in the UK and US. We have seen positive early results from our expansion into Europe. As we continue to invest in our multichannel model and new incremental projects, we remain confident in our long range plan.”
READ MORE: Watches of Switzerland posts record sales and profits in “tremendous year”
The retailer said it plans to relocate its 900 sq ft Rolex boutique on Bond Street to a bigger 7,200 sq ft location on Old Bond Street next year.
“This new flagship will reflect the importance of the London market and the special relevance of London to the history of Rolex,” said Duffy.
The Rolex store is the latest in a string of store projects for Watches of Switzerland.
The retailer said it had made “significant enhancements” to its Regent Street flagship, had opened a mono-brand boutique with Breitling in Meadowhall, Sheffield this month and with Tudor in Bristol’s Cribbs Causeway last month.
It has also refurbished two showrooms to the Goldsmiths Luxury concept at Bluewater, Kent and Victoria Square in Belfast.
Watches of Switzerland said: “While we continue to monitor the wider macro-economic environment, we believe that the strength of the luxury watch category, with its unique supply/demand dynamics, together with the success and agility of our model will continue to support long-term sustainable strong sales growth.”
The retailer retained its guidance for the year of making £1.45 billion to £1.5 billion in sales while adjusted EBITDA would be flat to 0.5% growth at £157million to £169 million.
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