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Reuters
Published
Jun 9, 2009
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Hublot sees slight decline in 2009 sales

By
Reuters
Published
Jun 9, 2009

PARIS (Reuters) - Hublot sees flat to slightly negative sales in 2009 and plans to expand its foothold in Europe and China, the Swiss watchmaker owned by luxury goods giant LVMH (LVMH.PA) said on Tuesday 9 June.


Hublot "Ayrton Senna"

"We keep sales flat or slightly minus because we never over-supply," Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver told the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in Paris on Tuesday 9 June.

"Our goal is to beat 2007 (sales) by 30 percent," he said.

Hublot, which sits alongside watch brands Tag Heuer and Zenith at LVMH, posted 2008 sales of about 250 million Swiss francs ($228.9 million) and 2007 sales of 160 million francs.

Swiss watchmakers are bracing themselves for the worst decline in exports in at least two decades as customers worry about the economy and their jobs.

Acquired by LVMH last year, Hublot competes with Richemont's (CFR.VX) IWC and Jaeger-Le Coultre.

Biver said Hublot would open 12 stores in 2009, in cities such as Prague, Budapest and Paris, and set up 10 shops in China through partners.

Hublot, which started operating in China in January said it expected the country to represent its third- or fourth-biggest market in 2012 after the United States, Europe and Japan.

($1=1.092 Swiss Franc)

(Reporting by Katie Reid; Editing by Astrid Wendlandt)

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