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Watches of Switzerland online sales rise amid record year

Watches of Switzerland storefront

Watches of Switzerland has reported a “strong” full-year performance with record revenues, despite warning of an expected drop in sales in the first quarter.

For the year ended 30 April 2023, the group reported a 3% rise in its ecommerce sales, alongside a 25% increase in revenues to £1.5 billion.

UK and Europe revenues rose by 10% to £890 million, whereas US revenues increased by 52% to £653 million, the group revealed.

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Despite seeing a 10% rise in revenues for its luxury items, the company also revealed pre-owned revenues grew strong double digits with pricing.

This comes as the second-hand luxury market saw a drop in customers from its 2020 peak, despite more shoppers opting to buy pre-loved items as a result of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

According to 2023 RXUK’s Global Luxury Sector report, the second-hand luxury market peaked at 17% in 2020, up from 8% pre-pandemic.

“FY23 was another record year of revenue and profitability, with revenue growth of 25% at reported rates and continued EBIT margin expansion,” Watches of Switzerland CEO Brian Duffy said.

“Although, as expected, the second half of FY23 saw a more challenging trading environment, demand remains strong and continues to exceed supply, with client registration lists continuing to grow.”

According to the retailer, it is entering the 2024 financial year “significantly ahead of schedule”, however, it warned of a “more challenging trading environment”, which it expects to continue into the first half of next year.

As a result, it forecasts a “modest sales decline” in the first quarter due to the strong previous year, and predicts revenues to increase between 8% to 11%.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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