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Switzerland: Swatch reports first annual loss in 40 years


The Swatch Group reported on Thursday that this is the first annual loss in nearly 40 years since the establishment of the Swiss watch manufacturer, as the COVID-19 pandemic has closed stores and smart watches have entered the market. 


The company announced an annual net loss of 53 million Swiss francs (60 million US dollars), this is the first time since 1983, this is the year Swatch Group was established in its current form, and launched the Swatch plastic watch. 


Due to the pandemic and political turmoil in Hong Kong, the company closed 384 stores worldwide. Analysts said that the watch industry is also late in online sales, and the industry is less hit by the crisis. 


For many watchmakers, the suspension of international travel has always been a big problem for the watch industry because they can no longer shop at airports or in luxury hot spots such as Paris. 


Competition from smartwatch competitors such as Apple is increasingly fierce, and their products count steps, calories, heart rate and connect to the Internet.  


Swatch Group’s sales fell by 32% in 2020 to 5.59 billion Swiss francs, lagging behind the overall decline of the Swiss watch industry by 22%. The company proposed to reduce its dividend by 37%.

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