Seen here is the new Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300, updated for the watch brand’s 25th anniversary. Unveiled at Baselworld earlier this year, the watch is set to hit stores in the second half of 2018.
Biel/Bienne, Switzerland—Swatch Group reported record half-year results, with growth led by strong sales in North America and Asia.

Group net sales were up 15 percent year-over-year (13 percent at constant exchange rates) to 4.27 billion Swiss Francs (about $4.29 billion), the watch retailer and manufacturer said in its financial results released July 18.

The company’s watches and jewelry division, which includes brands like Breguet, Longines and Tissot, constitutes about 4.14 billion Swiss Francs (or about $4.16 billion) of that.

The first-half results build on the momentum the company began to generate in the second half of 2017, which helped reverse two straight years of sales decline for Swatch Group in its fiscal full-year results.

First-half 2018 net income was up by 67 percent to 468 million Swiss Francs (approximately $470.8 million), while operating margin improved from 10 percent in the prior-year period to 15 percent this year.

Swatch Group said it saw “massive gains” in market share in all price segments and regions, leading to a strong increase in production of watches and jewelry.

North America saw a double-digit sales increase, while Asia also recorded strong growth, the company said.

Looking ahead, Swatch Group said it is optimistic about the second half of the year, especially as consumer demand for authentic brands continues to grow worldwide, regardless of region or pricing. Consumer demand for value is providing a countertrend to “commodity consumerism,” in which products lose their value quickly.

It added that there is increased interest in pre-owned and vintage products, as well as in understanding the production and provenance of products, an area in which the company sees a lot of opportunity given that it has digital archives and brand museums to communicate the heritage behind many of its brands.

Swatch Group plans to introduce a number of watches in the latter half of the year, including the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date in a 1970s style, as well as other classics like the Montblanc Villeret Tourbillon.

Omega will debut the Seamaster Professional Diver 300, while Longines will expand its Conquest Collection with another VHP (Very High Precision) watch with GMT flash setting.

Rado, meanwhile, will introduce a new DiaMaster collection, called Ceramos, in ceramic and rose gold, and Swatch will add models to the Skin Irony collection.

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