Watches of Switzerland raises sales guidance after strong UK sales jump

Watches of Switzerland has lifted its sales and earnings guidance on the back of a strong post-pandemic recovery, sending shares surging in early trading.

The retailer told investors on Tuesday that group revenues rose by 44.6% to £586.2 million for the six months to October 31, compared with the same period last year.

Chief executive Brian Duffy said he is “very pleased” with the performance.

Watches of Switzerland said it saw “continued strong demand” for both luxury watches and jewellery amid higher sales volumes.

It said its core UK operation reported a “robust” performance buoyed by a thriving domestic business, amid fewer tourist shoppers.

The group said it is now expecting annual revenues of between £1.15 billion and £1.2 billion for the current full year as a result, raising its previous target of 1.05 billion to £1.1 billion.

It also increased its earnings margin guidance for the year.

The company also hailed 50% growth in the US and said it is continuing its expansion strategy in the country with the acquisition of five new stores across four states.

Mr Duffy said: “We have enjoyed re-connecting with customers in our stores whilst further elevating the experience by retaining several initiatives and enhancements introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The strength of our performance, both in our well-established UK business and in our growing US business, coupled with our confidence in the luxury watch and jewellery categories has led us to upgrade our guidance for the full year.

“We are well-stocked for the holiday period and look forward to providing an exceptional shopping experience for our customers.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for their dedication and enthusiasm and to welcome our new colleagues to the business.”

Shares in the company were 12.9% higher at 1,280p on Tuesday morning.