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Groupe SEB Releases Provisional First-Half 2003 Sales
Jul 11, 2003
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Despite a sluggish economy in many countries, French appliance maker Groupe SEB announce Thursday that its sales rose slightly at constant exchange rates in the first 6 months of 2003. Following a sharp rise in the first quarter, sales in the second quarter confirmed the decline in consumer spending observed in March in the Group's main markets. In addition, an unfavorable currency effect, notably with regard to the dollar, reduced first-half sales in euros by 8 points, the company said

In France, business was generally good during the first half, with a stable turnover in the second quarter. Sales were especially satisfactory in cookware, food processors, and personal care appliances, where a number of new products were successfully launched, the company said.

In the other EU countries, business varied from one country to another. The overall decrease in sales was mainly due to Germany, where the situation further deteriorated in the second quarter. The granting of licenses for the Moulinex brand in 9 European countries since 1 January 2003 also weighed on sales. Italy and Spain continued to enjoy sustained demand.

In the NAFTA region, the decline in sales at June 30 reflected the sharp slowdown in US consumer spending in the second quarter, as well as the unfavorable impact of the euro/dollar exchange rate. In this depressed market, T-Fal launched new lines of cookware, which will be broadly supported with sales and marketing campaigns in the second half. In Mexico, a turnaround was apparent in June.

In Brazil, while Arno's contribution to consolidated sales decreased by nearly 25 percent compared with first-half 2002, sales were up in the local currency. Elsewhere in South America, sales increased in all countries, except Venezuela.

In the rest of the world, following a strong first quarter shaped by precautionary purchases in the run-up to the Iraqi conflict, sales in the Middle East were adversely affected by the war's impact, Group SEB said. However, growth remained strong in almost all the countries where the Group operates in Central Europe and Asia, notably Poland, China, Australia, the CIS countries, South Korea, and Japan.

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