Millions wiped off value of luxury watch retailer as share price crashes

The share price at Leicester-based luxury good retailer Watches of Switzerland has collapsed after the firm posted a profit warning on Thursday morning (January 18).

By close of trading on Thursday, shares were changing hands for just over 371p – down almost 37% on their opening price – with tens of millions wiped off the value of the company – and stocks at their lowest price since 2020.

Watches of Switzerland had posted a profit warning after experiencing “volatile” trading conditions over Christmas.

The luxury watch retailer said it expected the “challenging” trading conditions will remain for the rest of its financial year.

The company has lowered both revenue and EBIT forecasts for its full-year 2024 results.

Brian Duffy, chief executive officer, said: “The festive period was particularly volatile this year for the luxury sector, with consumers allocating spend to other categories such as fashion, beauty, hospitality and travel. Whilst we are disappointed with this trend, we are encouraged by our market share gains in both the US and UK.”

Watches of Switzerland is the UK’s largest retailer of Rolex, OMEGA, Cartier, TAG Heuer and Breitling watches.

Analyst AJ Bell issued a statement, which said: “Watches of Switzerland went from bad to worse as the day progressed. It seems to have suffered a nightmare before, during and after Christmas as wealthier consumers become more cautious on luxury goods.

“Investors were having none of it and raced to dump the stock, putting it at the lowest level since October 2020 and approximately three quarters off the peak share price in December 2021.”

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