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By
Reuters
Published
Nov 19, 2009
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Swiss watch October exports see slight pick-up

By
Reuters
Published
Nov 19, 2009

ZURICH, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Consumer appetite for Swiss watches picked up slightly in October as the pace of decline in exports slowed, adding to signs the beleaguered watch industry may be on the road to recovery.


Photo : AFP

October exports slipped 23 percent year-on-year after falling 26 percent in the previous month, while the value of sales edged up to 1.3 billion Swiss francs ($1.29 billion) in October from 1.1 billion francs in September, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said.

The industry, home to companies like Swatch Group (UHR.VX), Rolex and Richemont (CFR.VX), has seen exports drop 25.5 percent so far this year as consumers have stopped treating themselves to pricey accessories.

But there are mounting signs that demand is picking up, with Richemont saying it expects better Christmas sales this year, while LVMH (LVMH.PA) is also predicting a better festive period for its brands, including Tag Heuer and Hublot.

Exports to Hong Kong, the industry's biggest market, slipped 18 percent, while demand in the United States fell 38 percent, but more shoppers splashed out on timepieces in Singapore, where exports rose 5.6 percent. ($1=1.009 Swiss Franc) (Reporting by Katie Reid; editing by Simon Jessop)

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