Swiss watch exports up 14.6 percent in May


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BIEL, Switzerland, June 19, 2008 (AFP) - Swiss watch exports grew by 14.6 percent in May on an annual basis to a value of 1.5 billion Swiss francs (929 million euros), the Swiss Watchmaking Federation (FH) said Thursday June 17th.

Over the first five months of the year, watch exports rose 15.3 percent, FH said in a statement.

Exports were boosted by high-end watches costing more than 3,000 Swiss francs, whose sales rose 40 percent.

The exports of "cheap" watches costing 200 Swiss francs or less grew by only 5.0 percent, FH noted.

Hong Kong remains the top market for Swiss watches with exports up 23.1 percent. The United States is the second market but growth here was only 1.1 percent.

France and Italy showed strong growth at 28.4 percent and 10.8 percent respectively, but exports to Japan fell by 5.9 percent, FH said.

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