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Outlook 2017 - Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard & Co.

Outlook 2017 Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard & Co.

Buoyed by the success of the prize-winning Scafograf model, Mario Peserico is upbeat about 2017.

Some brands got through 2016 better than others. Did the attractive pricing of Eberhard & Co. put you among those who did better?
Yes, I am very happy with 2016. We launched some entry-level products to strengthen our presence in this segment and I don’t mean the Scafograf. Our aim is to have a product that offers the best value for money. It’s not necessarily a question of making the product as cheap as possible. If we had had to launch the Scafograf at 200 Swiss francs more, then I would have done so. But I don’t want to forget the rest of the range as well. I don’t want to limit our segment to watches between 1,500 and 3,000 Swiss francs. I want to keep the segment of 1,500 to 5,000. Some markets are suffering but others have reacted very positively to what we are offering. If we hadn’t had this reaction then 2016 would have been a very difficult year for us.

Which markets suffered and where did you do well in 2016?
Things are difficult in Russia and Hong Kong. The same was true in the Middle East in the first half of the year, but things have since picked up there. For us, Europe and Japan have picked up.

Do you see any improvement on the horizon for next year?
I think you have to look at each market separately. You cannot make an overall prediction. If Donald Trump develops the relationship with Russia and the price of oil improves, then the Russian economy will also improve. That’s an important market. But at the same time the TTIP is practically dead. Maybe there will be a replacement but we don’t know yet. Nor do we know whether the situation in China will improve. I can’t predict any of this today, but I am sure that the average salary in China could increase by up to 50% over the next five to ten years, which means there will be a middle class with an increasing purchasing power. So overall I am positive for our brand.

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