ZURICH, June 8 (Reuters) - Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group (CWJ) is committed to developing Swiss watch brand Eterna, the Hong Kong-listed company said on Thursday, trying to dissipate rumours about loss-making Eterna’s viability.
CWJ said it was hiring a new head of timepiece division to lead its Swiss watch brands, Corum and Eterna, to replace Davide Traxler, who left last month just two months after taking on responsibility for Eterna on top of his job at Corum.
A spokeswoman for Corum said the new CEO was already at work, but the name would only be made public in a few weeks.
“CWJ will continue to do what is necessary to ensure the development of Eterna,” CWJ said in a statement, adding Corum’s management team would share its expertise with Eterna while synergies in back-office operations and distribution networks would also help.
CWJ injected “more than 5 million Swiss francs” ($5.2 million) this spring to help Eterna that was struggling to pay its suppliers, it said.
CWJ posted an 88 percent decline in net profit and a 15 percent fall in sales in 2016, saying it expected trading to remain difficult. It said Corum almost broke even last year, while Eterna was suffering from a decrease in demand for luxury watches.
CWJ’s shares have lost almost 19 percent of their value since peaking in October last year.
$1 = 0.9665 Swiss francs Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz, editing by David Evans