Business & Investment

Luxury watchmaker Hublot expects China to accelerate sales recovery in 2021 By Reuters

© Reuters.Watches are on display at LVMH’s Hublot shop in Zurich


By Silke Koltrowitz

Zurich (Reuters)-Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot, part of the French group LVMH, has sales of 15-20 driven by China in 2021 after a difficult start in 2020 and the new year. We expect it to increase by%, the CEO said on Monday.

Swiss watchmakers’ sales declined last year as the tourism industry, a key driver of luxury watch sales, collapsed as a result of the pandemic closure.

Some companies with a strong presence in mainland China are benefiting from a recovery in demand, such as Richemont, which returned to growth in the final quarter of 2020.

“For Hublot, we expect sales growth of 15-20% this year … there is still a lot of potential in China, with very strong growth of 30-50%,” said CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. Told Reuters in a telephone interview during LVMH Watch Week.

According to Guadalupe, sales growth in the final quarter was better than in the third quarter of Hublot as well as the entire LVMH watch and jewelery business. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods group, will announce its full-year results on Tuesday.

He said growth came from mainland China, but Macau has also improved since October. Hong Kong remained difficult due to political conditions, but Japan and the Middle East were doing well, he said.

“Western Europe remains difficult due to the shortage of tourists,” Guadalupe said. Store closures related to the COVID-19 restriction are currently sold in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

He said the brand aims to further streamline its distribution network over the next few years, but this year it will open four new stores in China’s second-tier cities.

Surveillance systems helped Hublot avoid excessive inventory buildup in retail stores, but in some hit areas such as cruise ships, brands are ready to reclaim unsold watches. Said Guadalupe.

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

($ 1 = 0.8232 euros)

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Luxury watchmaker Hublot expects China to accelerate sales recovery in 2021 By Reuters Luxury watchmaker Hublot expects China to accelerate sales recovery in 2021 By Reuters

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