Swiss watch exports ticked ahead nearly 14 per cent in April, trade figures showed yesterday, aided by strong demand from prime market Hong Kong.
“After a relatively calm March, growth moved ahead strongly in April,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said, noting exports for the first four months of the year rose 11 per cent on the same period of 2017 to 6.7 billion Swiss francs (5.8 billion euros, US$6.75 billion).
March growth had been tepid at 4.8 per cent, down on January's 12.6 and February's 12.9.
April's recovery of 13.8 per cent saw exports hit 1.76 billion francs, driven by a healthy 43.4 per cent rise in sales — a six-year high — to Hong Kong, a lucrative Asian market hub.
Other key markets also saw large rises, with exports to China and the United States clocking up increases of 11 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively.
Europe was a mixed picture with German sales up 12.8 per cent, but sliding 14.7 per cent in Britain, continuing a recent trend as the United Kingdom wrestles with Brexit.
The global picture has been healthier since a difficult period across 2015 and 2016 saw the sector take a hit after China brought in anti-counterfeiting measures, helping knock back sales of luxury goods.