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The Movado Connect is the brand’s first smartwatch. The Movado Connect 2.0 is expected to be released this fall and will feature heart rate monitoring capabilities.
Paramus, N.J.—Movado Group reported double-digit growth in net sales in both its fourth quarter and full year, boosted by a strong performance from its namesake and newly-acquired brands.

Fourth-quarter net sales climbed more than 35 percent to $199.4 million, compared with $149.2 million a year ago.

Quarterly sales in the U.S. increased by 56 percent while international sales were up 18 percent.

The watch company attributed its sales growth to the strength of its owned and licensed brands, which include Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Hugo Boss and Lacoste.

Gross profit for the quarter totaled $110.6 million, or 55 percent of sales, compared with the $78.7 million, or 52 percent of sales, reported in the previous fourth quarter.

Its retail business grew nearly 2 percent in the fourth quarter, with 44 outlet stores, including one in Canada, compared with 40 stores last year.

“In a challenging global retail marketplace, particularly during the holiday season, we were very pleased to deliver such a strong quarter and end to our fiscal year,” said CEO Efraim Grinberg during the company’s earning call Thursday morning.

Full-year net sales clocked in at $679.6 million, nearly 20 percent higher than the $568 million reported a year ago.

Gross profit for the fiscal year was $369.4 million, or 54 percent of sales, compared with the $298.1 million, or 52 percent of sales, reported the previous year.

Sales in the U.S. increased more than 18 percent annually while international sales rose nearly 20 percent.

“One of our strategic priorities has been to grow our international business and expand our global footprint. Last year we grew sales in our international markets by close to 20 percent to over $300 million, representing over half of the company’s revenues for the first time,” Grinberg said in a letter to shareholders.

The company acquired affordable watch brand MVMT in 2018 and Olivia Burton, a U.K.-based watch and fashion jewelry brand, the year before, increasing its presence in the fashion watch market.

In its results, Movado broke down by category which brands were the most successful this fiscal year and why.

The Movado brand continued to grow market share in the U.S., with its Museum Classic on Mesh and Bold Evolution watches, which will be featured in an upcoming spring television campaign, performing well. Its limited series Museum 47 collection, meanwhile, drove its e-commerce business up more than 50 percent in the fourth quarter.

The brand’s first smartwatch, the Movado Connect, also drew in tech-savvy customers. The Movado Connect 2.0 is expected to be released this fall and will feature heart rate monitoring capabilities.

Robust marketing drove the Tommy Hilfiger brand to hit record sales, with strong performances in North and South America, Europe and the Middle East. Its Ari for Her and Decker for Him watches were the year’s best-sellers.

For the Coach brand, its Park t-bar and Perry and Charles collections did especially well. The brand has a new men’s offering in the works for the second half of this year.

Hugo Boss reached “record sales” in fiscal 2019 due to its increased presence in the women’s category and a billboard campaign that spanned across New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City and a few European cities. Its Trophy and Grand Prix Retro watches boosted sales in global retail partners while the new Hugo Collection was the star of the fourth quarter.

The Lacoste brand saw double-digit growth, seeing success in its Lacoste 1212 selection, meant to be worn with its iconic polo shirts, and its kids watches, especially during the holiday season.

Olivia Burton saw strong sales growth in Asia. The brand was launched in China earlier this year, and a flagship boutique opened in Osaka, Japan in time for Christmas.

For the year ahead, Movado said it will focus on expanding its positioning in key Asian markets, including Singapore, Korea, Japan and China, and continue to bolster its brand awareness in the U.S. and Latin America.

The company expects sales of $750 million to $765 million in fiscal 2020.

Movado also benefited from a revision to the corporate federal income tax system, noting that it could reduce the tax impact of bringing some of its overseas cash back to the U.S. and give more flexibility in terms of investments.

Shareholders will benefit from the tax revision as well with the company increasing its quarterly cash dividend to 20 cents per share from 13 cents.

Grinberg addressed the company’s absence at Baselworld in the shareholder letter, saying that “for Movado Group, the Basel fair was no longer as relevant.”

The savings will go toward hosting a Movado Group Summit in Davos, Switzerland, which the company introduced last year.

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