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By
AFP
Published
Dec 17, 2014
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Hublot should record double-digit growth despite drop in the ruble

By
AFP
Published
Dec 17, 2014

The shake-ups in the ruble are not without incidence on the sales of luxury watches among the Russian clientele, said the President of Hublot (LVMH), which nevertheless expects strong growth this year.

"The fall of the ruble for a brand like Hublot means consequences," stated Jean-Claude Biver, reminding the public that the label has a strong presence in Russia and Ukraine.

Known through its connections with football, notably as the official timekeeper of the 2014 World Cup, the Hublot brand should nevertheless record a "double-digit" increase this year, Biver further said, which shows that it is managing to make it through," according to him.

The impact is less pronounced for Tag Heuer, however, in the sense that Russia is only one of a handful of markets for the brand, added Jean-Claude Biver, which highlighted the diversity of its geographic locations.

This veteran of the Swiss watchmaking industry took over the commands of the LVMH watchmaking division, which revolves around three brands: Tag Heuer, Zenith and Hublot.

"For the moment I don't think that the crisis in Ukraine or Russia will have any impact on Zenith, Tag or Hublot that will make us revise our budgets," he stated during a press conference at Chaux-de fonds, during which he gave a report of the Tag Heuer strategy.

"The fact that Russians who purchase luxury goods are travelling less is going to create losses in revenue," he conjectured, particularly mentioning the risks for the tourism sector.

"I am especially thinking of Courchevel. I wouldn't want to be a hotel owner there," he continued, with a drop in Russian tourists a real possibility.

Russia is the 15th biggest export market for Swiss watchmakers, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.

A large part of well-off Russians make their luxury watch purchases during their vacations, on the French Riviera in summer and the trendy ski resorts in the Alps in winter.

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