Italian appliance maker Merloni Elettrodomestici announced growth in the first half of 2003, with sales up 26 percent, gross operating margin up 27 percent, and profits before tax up 12 percent compared to the first half of 2002. "We have reached the objectives set for this first half thanks to admirable commitment by the entire organization," said Vittorio Merloni, "in spite of a market situation characterized by strong pressure on prices and the sterling's loss against the euro." The first 6 months of 2003 saw the renewal of the Ariston brand image, along with the launch of a whole range of new products that will reach the main European markets during 2003. The company completed the main stages of integration with Hotpoint, covering a common platform for industrial procurement, information systems, technological innovation, and production. As of June 1 the company has been operating in Great Britain under the new name of Merloni Elettrodomestici UK, based in new headquarters in Peterborough.
In the first 6 months of 2003, sales amounted to Euro 1.396 million, up 26 percent on the first half of 2002 (Euro 1.108 million). The figure, which includes the 100-percent consolidated turnover of Hotpoint, reflects the devaluation of the sterling by around euro 16 million, as calculated for the partial consolidation area of 2002.
to Daily News