January 30, 2018 / 6:21 AM / a year ago

Swatch "very positive" about 2018 after 2017 profit up 28 pct

ZURICH, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Swatch Group said it expected "very positive" growth in 2018 after net profit rose 28 percent in 2017, helped by an improvement in global demand for Swiss watches.

Swiss watchmakers are just emerging from a severe downturn, helped by a recovery in demand among their biggest customer group - Chinese shoppers - but executives cautioned at a watch fair this month that inventory levels at multi-brand retailers were still too high.

"The Swatch Group anticipates further very positive growth in local currencies in 2018, not only from its own distribution channels such as retail and e-commerce, but also from third-party channels. In addition, further growth will utilise the capacities of all production areas," the world's biggest watchmaker said in a statement on Tuesday. (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)

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