January 8, 2017 / 12:39 PM / 3 years ago

LVMH's Biver sees recovery for Swiss watch industry in 2017 - report

Jean-Claude Biver, Chief Executive Executive of Tag Heuer and LVMH's head of watches, poses at his office in Paris, France, December 8, 2016. Picture taken December 8, 2016 REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

ZURICH (Reuters) - The head of LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) watch business Jean-Claude Biver is positive about the prospects for the Swiss watch industry in 2017, he tells Schweiz am Sonntag in an interview.

“I am convinced that the New Year will bring growth to our industry,” Biver said in the article published on Sunday.

“Exports will recover and rise again,” he says, saying the an improvement was already underway although it was not evident everywhere.

The Swiss watch industry had a tough 2016, with exports falling 10 percent to 17.74 billion francs in the first 11 months of the year, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, as sales in key markets like Hong Kong fell.

Biver said he was optimistic for LVMH’s watch brands, which include Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith.

“I see a better year for the LVMH watch division, although in 2016 we could still achieve overall growth of four percent.”

Reporting by John Revill. Editing by Jane Merriman

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