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Swatch Returns to Profit as Stores Reopen and Travel Resumes

Swatch watches. Shutterstock.

Swatch Group AG, the maker of Omega and Longines watches, swung to a profit in the first half as countries eased restrictions on shopping and tourism came back to life.

Operating profit reached 402 million francs ($439 million). Analysts expected 338 million francs. Swatch had a loss in the first half last year amid shuttered shops and travel bans.

Swatch said it expects higher sales in local currencies in the second half compared with 2019 as more pandemic restrictions are eased. That’s an improvement from February, when the company said there’s a good chance revenue in local currencies will approach the levels seen in 2019, with significantly improved margins.

Swatch will exit Switzerland’s benchmark SMI Index in September after more than 20 years, following a reshuffle by the exchange to focus on larger companies. The watchmaker’s market capitalisation has shrunk to half the level it was in 2013, and last year Rolex overtook its rank as Switzerland’s largest watchmaker, according to Morgan Stanley.

Swatch shares have jumped 30 percent this year, though, as the company bounced back from the depths of the pandemic.

By Corinne Gretler

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