29 Nov 2005
Right On Time(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 01,2006)
Keep On Ticking
Right On Time
Peace Mark Ltd
Peace Mark Ltd is one of the world's leading watch companies, producing mass- market, fashion, sports and luxury timepieces
"When I began as a watchmaker in 1983 my first goal was to build a successful company that could go public in 1993 - and the mission was accomplished right on schedule," he says.
Leung then set out to become Hong Kong's leading watch company by 2003 and duly achieved his goal before raising the bar by aiming to have Peace Mark recognised as one of the world's leading watch companies.
"Three years on, we're already the largest single retailer on the Chinese mainland and are making good progress in other markets, too," Leung reveals. "So, with due modesty, I'd say that already we're about halfway there."
However, this seemingly effortless progress has inevitably involved some complications. "We all strike difficulties but if we're sensible businessmen we can see them coming, plan for them and side-step the worst of them," he reasons.
More importantly, Leung claims he isn't fazed by difficulties. "I have a different philosophy - I only aim for and care about progress," he insists. "Difficulties are just the occasional problems that arise on the stairway to success."
Perhaps the fact that he spent the first few years of his working life as a bank officer gave Leung a sixth sense about how to anticipate financial pitfalls and economic troughs, and negotiate his way around them.
Either way, there's definitely some chemistry working for Leung, who accomplished another of his goals when he was elected President of the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association in 2005.
And while he may not have a Midas touch he certainly has a Milus touch, having long incorporated the noted Swiss watch company in the Peace Mark stable, though Leung lets it go its own way under its Swiss management.
"Milus is a very old and prestigious brand and we want to retain its international image," Leung explains. "We don't allow any meddling from headquarters with its operations, and it's doing just fine."
As is another of Peace Mark's notable overseas acquisitions, Omni Watch & Clock Co LLC, which imports and distributes watches sold all over the US through Wal-Mart and major drugstore chains.
Omni is an integral part of the group's extensive business line, which ranges from manufacturing OEM, ODM, licensed and OBM products to the distribution, sale and after-sales service of numerous brands around the world.
"Our production facilities located in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai on the mainland and in Bienne, Switzerland, employ more than 4,000 staff," Leung explains.
Peace Mark's watches run the gamut from mass-market, fashion and sports brands to international luxury timepieces, and the group has more than 25,000 points of sale around the globe.
Its stable of own brands include Aerostar, Cornell, EST, Milus and Sergio Valente watches, while licensed timepieces encompass Bill Blass, Fiorucci, Montana, Morgan, Pierre Cardin, Technos, Umbro and Vincent Van Gogh.
"We also distribute and retail Boegli, Cacharel, Daniel Hechter, Faconnable, Feraud, Givenchy, Kookai, Marie Claire, NHC, Nina Ricci, Sonia Rykiel, Technomarine, TimeZone, Yema and Vulcain on the mainland," Leung adds.
Given this exhaustive portfolio, it comes as no surprise that Peace Mark reported turnover of more than US$243m for the last financial year, led by the Americas at 44%, Asia 22%, the mainland 18% and Europe 16%.
Turnover by business was OEM/ODM 55%, retail 18%, licences and OBM 16% and distribution 11%, giving Leung a firm foundation from which to achieve his ambition of becoming one of the world's leading watchmakers.
"While the Americas remain an important market, we see immense growth opportunities for the mainland and the East European countries," Leung notes. "Peace Mark is a vertically-integrated manufacturing operation and this gives the group enormous advantages that will ensure we become the world's leading watch manufacturer within a very short time!"
WRITTEN BY GEOFFREY SOMERS
Peace Mark Ltd
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