Swatch Posts Profit Amid Sales Growth

The world's largest watchmaker, Swatch Group AG (search), on Wednesday said first-half net profit surged 21 percent on strong sales growth.

Net profit rose to 267 million Swiss francs ($210 million) in the first six months of the year from220 million francs in the year-ago period. Swatch restated last year's earnings to comply with a change in international financial reporting standards.

Sales rose 6 percent to 2.08 billion francs ($1.63 billion), from 2 billion francs. Swatch does not break out quarterly figures.

"Demand appears to continue unabated, particularly for watches in the upper-price bracket," the company said in a statement.

The watch division — which includes luxury brands such as Breguet (search) as well as lower-price models — generates about half of Swatch's sales. Businesses such as jewelry make up the remainder.

Swatch shares were down 1.2 percent at 183 francs ($144) on the Zurich exchange (search).