Swatch Group expects further decline in Hong Kong after weak 2019

ZURICH, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group said it expected sales to fall further in key market Hong Kong this year after a marked drop in sales there spoilt the picture for the world’s biggest watchmaker in 2019.

Swiss watch sales have underperformed other luxury goods as political protests have shaken Hong Kong, smartwatches have taken share from similarly priced Swiss watches and changes in distribution have also taken their toll.

Net profit fell almost 14% to 748 million Swiss francs ($773.1 million) in 2019, while sales at constant currency dropped 1.8%, the group said in a statement on Thursday.

$1 = 0.9675 Swiss francs Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Michael Shields