Swatch predicts sales growth of up to 10% in 2012

Three colourful swatch watches
Image caption As well as Swatch watches the group also owns other brands such as Omega

The world's largest watchmaker, Swatch Group, is eyeing sales growth of between 5% and 10% in 2012 after reporting record sales in 2011.

Last year, sales rose by 21.7% to 7.14bn Swiss francs ($7.5bn; £4.8bn).

As well as producing Swatch watches, the firm also owns luxury brands such as Brequet and Omega.

Swiss exporters such as Swatch have had to combat the effects of the strong Swiss franc, which hit multiple records against the euro and dollar in 2011.

That prompted the Swiss National Bank to take a series of measures to cap the value of the franc.

Strong demand in Asia helped Swatch to stave off the worst of the currency effects, and the watchmaker said it had also got off to a positive start in January.

"We will still have a year of growth [in 2012], not just with the expansion of the distribution network and new products, but of growth meaning more turnover and more profits," chief executive Nick Hayek told Reuters.

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