International watchmaker Swatch Group says that orders have started to pick up again in March, with CEO Nick Hayek believing the industry is on its way to recovery.

While it won’t be until the middle of the year for results to show, "we have a good chance that the situation will stabilise and that the second half … will allow us to recover a part of the slowdown in January and February.

"In March, consumers continued to buy, stocks are running out … and the retailer will have to continue buying and gradually, the situation will normalise," Hayek told AFP.

Hayek said that sales in the first half would be down compared to the same period last year, however, he still believes the company’s sales results will be better than in 2007.