French-based small appliance maker Groupe SEB said 2006 marked a return to robust growth, with consolidated sales totaling 2.651 billion euros (approx. U.S. $3.426 billion) for an increase of 7.6 percent at current exchange rates and 7.9 percent at constant exchange rates.
This performance includes 5.4 percent organic growth over the year, with a 6.5-percent rise in the fourth quarter, significantly outperforming the last 3 months of 2005. Growth also includes full-year contribution of businesses acquired in 2005 (representing an extra 4 months’ sales from Lagostina and 5 months’ sales for Panex), and the consolidation over the last 4-1/2 months of newly acquired Mirro WearEver, based in the U.S. In all, these changes added 63 million euros (approx. $81.4 million) to reported sales. It also includes a 7 million euros (approx. $9 million) unfavorable currency effect, reflecting the euro's appreciation against virtually all of the Group SEB's functional currencies, particularly in the fourth quarter.
The significant improvement in organic growth, after several flat years, is primarily attributable to the group’s continued rapid international expansion, accompanied this year by an upswing in Europe.
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