Oct 20, 2014
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Swiss watchmaker Jaeger LeCoultre (Richemont) expects above average growth in its sector

Oct 20, 2014

Jaeger LeCoultre, one of Swiss group Richemont's watch brands, number two in the world of luxury, expects above average growth in its sector this year, said its CEO on Monday during a public interview in the Swiss daily newspaper Agefi.

Source: Jaeger Lecoultre

"We are above in terms of the growth in exports," indicated Daniel Riedo, who returned to the helm of the brand last year, in an article in the Lausanne newspaper, all however without revealing the sum of the expected turnover.

"We position ourselves on a plurality of niches, which guarantees us sustained demand," he explained.

This watch brand, which became a part of Richemont in July 2000, produces watches in small quantities that sell anywhere from 5,000 to one million euros.

The maximum amount produced in a series borders on 1,500 pieces per year, specified Daniel Riedo, and as little as 5 to 10 per year for the very high-end models.

"Our growth is limited by our production capacity," he continued, pointing out that the brand is obliged to impose restrictions on deliveries, especially for the most upscale sector which has a backlog of several years.

Swiss watchmakers, who saw exponential growth thanks to the demand of Chinese customers for luxury watches, experienced some turbulence last year after the introduction of the anti-corruption measures, banning extravagant presents, which especially had an impact on the prestige watches sector.

"China is still a motor but it isn't the priority outlet in our developments," assured Daniel Riedo.

"Over the last six months, six new stores opened in Europe," he stated as proof, adding that the next six will be in the United States.

During a review of its activity in mid-September, Richemont had reported a deceleration in its growth, beset by its key markets in Asia, notably in detriment to sales of Cartier watches.

The following week, the group confirmed that it had implemented temporary unemployment measures at the Cartier manufacturing plant in Villars-sur-Glâne, in the Swiss canton of Fribourg.

Nevertheless, Jaeger LeCoultre finds itself in a phase where it is taking on new workers, Daniel Riedo emphasised.

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