February 5, 2015 / 6:34 AM / 3 years ago

Swatch says in 'strong position' to weather franc strength

ZURICH, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group said on Thursday it was in a "strong position" despite an overvalued Swiss franc and a fall in its net profit last year.

Swiss watchmakers are grappling with weak demand in the key Chinese market, and could also be hard hit by the Swiss currency's recent surge as most of their costs are in francs.

Swatch said its own production and distribution network would help it generate high single-digit sales in local currency and healthy profits.

"After a strong December 2014 in Swiss francs, 2015 started very auspiciously with a strong January, of course computed in local currency," the world's biggest watchmaker said in a statement.

Net profit fell more than expected to 1,416 million Swiss francs ($1.53 billion) last year. It was forecast to fall to 1,529 million francs in a Reuters poll. ($1 = 0.9236 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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