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July 14, 2020, 1:42 a.m. EDT

Swatch swings to loss as coronavirus hits sales

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By Jessica Sier

Swatch Group AG said Tuesday that it swung to a loss during the first half of the year due to the closure of most of its stores during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Swiss watch maker recorded a net loss of 308 million Swiss francs ($327.1 million) for the first half of the year, compared to a net profit of CHF 415 million the year prior.

The company recorded an operating loss of CHF327 million compared to an operating profit of CHF547 million in the previous year.

Swatch said group net sales fell 43.4% at constant exchange rates to CHF2.2 billion.

Looking ahead, Swatch said it expects a positive operating result for the full year.

It said it expects its sales and profit to improve quickly in the second half of 2020 as lockdown measures ease.

Write to Jessica Sier at jessica.sier@wsj.com

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