ZURICH, July 23 (Reuters) - The world's biggest watchmaker Swatch Group said it expects a strong second half of the year after its first-half net profit rose more than expected.
"The outlook for the Group remains very promising, and a strong second half-year is expected," the maker of Omega, Longines and Swatch watches said in a statement on Tuesday.
Net profit rose 6.1 percent to 768 million Swiss francs ($821.2 million), ahead of a 728 million francs estimate in a Reuters poll. Gross sales rose a slightly better-than-expected 8.7 percent to 4.181 billion francs.
During the first half of the year, watchmakers have been grappling with double-digit declines in Swiss watch exports to Greater China, which absorbed about a quarter of the timepieces that left the Alpine country between January and June. ($1 = 0.9352 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and Caroline Copley)