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Indian Refrigerator Sales Behind Projections
Aug 24, 2004
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Refrigerator sales in India have failed expectations by a huge margin during the first half of the year in what is being reckoned as a double whammy wrought in by overall bearish market sentiments compounded by a delayed monsoon.

ORG data reveals that refrigerator sales grew only 0.6 percent during the first 6 months of the year against a projected 15- to 16-percent growth for the full year, according to Arvind Mediratta, vice president of Marketing, Whirlpool Home Appliances.

The revival of the monsoon during the latter part of the season might help the refrigerator sector post a growth of 5 percent during the second half of the year, Mr. Mediratta said. Earlier assessments by the Consumer Electronics and TV Manufacturers Association (CETMA) had projected that refrigerator sales would post double-digit growth during the current year. A forecast made by Francis Kanoi Marketing Research more or less corroborated this view.

The bleak performance is seen in washing machines as well. Sales have grown by just 5 percent this year, Mr. Mediratta said.

On the other hand, both the low-income and middle-income groups are starting to show a preference for the high-end products in refrigerators and washing machines. For instance, Mr. Mediratta said, in refrigerators, the high-end frost-free models have grown by 14 percent even as the sector as a whole posted flat growth. In washing machines, sales of fully automatic ones registered a 27-percent growth during the same period (compared to 5 percent for the sector). The bulk of the market, comprising direct-cool refrigerators and the semi-automatic washing machines, has either decreased or have posted flat growth, Mr. Mediratta said. (Business Line)

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