Swatch Group CEO says group sees catch-up effect on sales in Asia, U.S.

ZURICH, March 18 (Reuters) - Swatch Group said consumers were willing to splash out on watches in markets where shops are open, in Asia and also the United States, Chief Executive Nick Hayek told an online media briefing on the watchmaker’s full-year results on Thursday.

“People want to compensate after the crisis is over, they want to spend ... they want to have sure values. We see it in mainland China, Macau, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand. The restriction that is blocking us to develop the full power of sales we had before 2020 is of course tourism,” Hayek said.

Swatch Group in January posted a net loss of 53 million Swiss francs ($57.34 million) for 2020, its first in decades, as the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered shops and smartwatches made inroads into the market, hitting demand for Swatch plastic watches.

$1 = 0.9243 Swiss francs Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz Editing by Riham Alkousaa