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Merloni Reports First Quarter Results
May 14, 2003
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Italian appliance maker Merloni Elettrodomestici posted increases in sales and operating margin of 42 percent and 45 percent, respectively, in first quarter 2003, compared to first quarter 2002. The results include figures for GDA (Hotpoint brand), the leading UK company acquired last year and 100 percent consolidated for the first time in this quarter. The company also announced that its board of directors has approved the merger project of Philco Italia and Star, already under a 100 percent control of Merloni Elettrodomestici. The merger will be submitted to the extraordinary meeting of the shareholders of the companies involved in the project. In first quarter 2003, sales amounted to ?703 million, up 42 percent on the 1st quarter of 2002 (?495 million). Of this 42-percent increase, 7 percent is attributable to internal growth and the remaining 35 percent to consolidation of GDA revenues. Gross operating margin stands at ? 78 million, up 51 percent on the 1st quarter of 2002 (? 52 million). As a percentage of sales this is 11 percent, against 10.4 percent in the 1st quarter of 2002. The variation is due mainly to continuing improvements in organization processes, economies of scale and reduction of the average costs of industrial procurement. Operating margin, at ? 42 million, is up 45 percent on the same period in 2002 (? 29 million). The company announced that the coming months will see the launch of a completely renewed Ariston brand throughout Europe. New Ariston products will give European homes real benefits capable of improving the quality of people's time, including silent washing machines, vacuum fridges that increase food duration fourfold, and dishwashers and washing machines with 30-percent reduced washing cycles.

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