StockMarketWire.com - Luxury watch retailer Watches of Switzerland swung to a first-half loss owing to costs associated with its recent initial public offering, though its underlying profits rose on higher sales.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through 27 October amounted to £7.7m, compared to a profit of £12.4m on-year.

Losses included the impact of one-off exceptional costs of £34.2m relating to the IPO and a subsequent refinancing.

Adjusted pre-tax profit more than doubled to £26.5m, up from £12.5m, as revenue rose 17% to £428.7m.

For the current financial year, the company said markets for luxury watches remained 'robust' in both the UK and US. Profitability in the first half so far had improved due to good margin management and 'the leverage of showroom overheads'.

Watches of Switzerland said it expected its pre-tax profit for the current financial year to exceed the guidance issued at the time of its IPO, with its performance now tracking in line with current market consensus.



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