Groupe SEB reported full-year sales of €2.869 million (approx. US$4.2 million), up 8.2%. The company said that the growth was achieved in a generally favorable market environment, in terms of both volumes and prices, buoyed by sustained demand.
In France, the company said 2007 was a brisk year. The markets generally held up well, in terms of both volumes and prices, and products enjoyed strong demand, backed by a assertive sales and marketing policy. It achieved robust performance in the market, mainly due to successful product launches, including the Actifry fryer, the Silence Force vacuum cleaner, the Quick'n Hot kettle, the Dolce Gusto multi-drink system, the Beertender draught beer system, and the Baguette bread machine; sustained demand for cookware, hair styling tools, steam generators, handheld mixers, and other products; and increased marketing and advertising investments, particularly at the end of the year.
Whereas growth pace somewhat slowed down at the end of the year as predicted in Northern European countries such as Germany, Scandinavia or the Netherlands as well as in Italy–after a strong fourth quarter in 2006–growth remained satisfactory in Spain, Portugal, and Greece.
In North America, the currency effect was very negative due to a weaker U.S. dollar and Mexican peso, which fell against the Euro at a faster pace in the fourth quarter. Organic growth was 3.6%, reflecting dynamic sales in Mexico, an improvement in Canada, and contrasting results in the United States, where the overall economic environment was dull. At the end of the year, after a promising fourth quarter, Rowenta and All-Clad reported satisfactory performances, while T-Fal remained under pressure, and Krups continued to experience difficulties ahead of new product launches scheduled for 2008.
In South America, 8.9% growth reflected an overall upward trend in sales in a relatively favorable environment across the continent. In Central Europe, CIS, Asia, and other countries, despite the negative effect of certain currencies that depreciated over the period, particularly in the fourth quarter, the company maintained a high growth rate of 16.7%.
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