Luxury watchmaker Hublot expects China to boost sales rebound in 2021

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In this news, we discuss the Luxury watchmaker Hublot expects China to boost sales rebound in 2021

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ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot, part of French group LVMH, predicts sales growth of 15-20% in 2021, led by China, after a difficult 2020 and start to difficult year, its managing director said on Monday. .

Sales by Swiss watchmakers fell last year, as stores were hit by pandemic-related closures and tourism, a major driver of luxury watch sales, collapsed.

Some companies with a strong presence in mainland China have benefited from a rebound in demand, such as Richemont, which returned to growth in the last quarter of 2020.

“For Hublot we are forecasting 15-20% sales growth this year … In China we still have a lot of potential, we are forecasting very strong 30-50% growth there,” Reuters told Reuters CEO Ricardo Guadalupe in a phone interview at LVMH watch the week.

Guadalupe said last quarter sales growth was better than third for Hublot, but also for all of LVMH’s watch and jewelry business. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods group, is expected to publish its annual results on Tuesday.

He said the growth came from mainland China, while Macau had also improved since October. Hong Kong was still difficult, due to the political situation, but Japan and the Middle East were doing well, he said.

“Western Europe remains difficult due to the lack of tourists,” Guadalupe said. Store closures related to COVID-19 restrictions are currently hitting sales in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

He said the brand is looking to further streamline its distribution network in the coming years, but will open four new stores in second-tier cities in China this year.

A monitoring system helped Hublot avoid excessive inventory build-up at retailers, but in some hard-hit areas, such as cruise ships, the brand was ready to take back unsold timepieces, Guadalupe said.

Online sales of Hublot watches, which cost 18,000 euros ($ 21,864.60) on average, are still low and are expected to reach 2-3% of total sales this year.

(1 USD = 0.8232 euros)

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Michael Shields and Jane Merriman

Original © Thomson Reuters

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