Times are still tough for Swatch (SWGAY) the Swiss maker of Longines, Tissot Swatch watches with the popping colors and fun designs, like the Manneken Pis model currently on display in Brussels near the beloved statue.
In an unscheduled statement on Friday, the Biel, Switzerland-based company said that first-half operating profit and net profit are expected to be 50% to 60% lower when it reports results next week after a stronger Swiss franc dented sales in key markets. It expects sales to fall by 12%.
Swatch shares slumped 14% on open and were recently down 10.64%.
Swatch pointed to lower sales in Hong Kong, France and Switzerland. By contrast, it said that mainland China "develops positively."
But it said it won't cut spending or downsize its workforce, referring to its tradition and industrial long-term philosophy to keep employees "also in spite of important cancellations of orders from third parties. "
That's in contrast to domestic rival Richemont (CFRUY) , which is reportedly cutting 100 jobs at Swiss watch making operations of Cartier, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget.
Richemont shares were recently down 3.33%.
Swatch also said Friday it would maintain investments in new products and marketing and to pursue a "defensive" price increase policy.
In February Swatch reported a 21% drop in 2015 net profit to 119 million Swiss francs ($121.34 million), which it attributed to a strong negative impact of foreign currency losses and the negative development of interest rates.
At the same time, Swatch was cautiously optimistic on its outlook for the year, predicting a "sustainable" development in sales in local currency in 2016 based on "very good consumption" demand for Swiss watches worldwide.
Swatch is scheduled to put out first-half figures on July 21, the same day the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry posts its June statistics.
The industry's last card showed a 9.7% drop in the value of Swiss watch exports in May to Sfr 1.6 billion, amid steep sales downturns in Hong Kong, Italy and Japan. Watches in the Sfr200 to Sfr500 price category experienced the biggest drops in terms of units sold and value.