French-based small appliance and cookware maker Groupe SEB said the market remains generally firm and allowed it to grow revenue in the third quarter of 2011.
The results reflect the company's continued momentum in emerging markets and resilience in Western Europe. At constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation, like-for-like revenue growth came to 8% for the first nine months of the year and 7.2% for the third quarter of 2011. Colombia-based Imusa, which was acquired in February 2011 and consolidated for seven months, added €58 million to the revenue total.
Currency volatility had a negative currency effect in the third quarter, as in the second quarter, that reduced reported nine-month revenue by €17 million, compared with a €1-million positive impact in the first half year.
France. In SEB's home market of France, growth in the small domestic equipment market remained positive for the overall period of the first nine months of 2011, but turned downwards since summer. The retail environment is "intensely promotional." Groupe SEB’s revenue was almost unchanged in the third quarter, with declines cookware sales nearly offset by stronger appliance sales.
Western Europe. Despite a slowdown since the summer, demand for small household equipment continued to trend upwards in most markets, with contrast between Northern and Southern Europe. The drop in business intensified in Spain and Greece with the collapse in consumer spending, but sales held firm in Portugal. SEB saw solid performance in other markets, particularly the United Kingdom, Italy, and Austria. Throughout Europe, sales were boosted by growth in the Moulinex brand, which was successfully reintroduced in earl 2011.
North America. In North America, nine-month revenue declined by 1.6% like-for-like, adversely affected by a sharp slowdown in consumer spending in the United States during the third quarter. Imusa USA, consolidated since March 1, 2011, provided an additional €15 million in revenue.
In electrical appliances, Rowenta held iron sales firm and Krups saw a sharp upturn in business. In Canada, SEB sales and market share both improved, led by the success of cookware, Dolce Gusto coffeemakers, and the Actifry deep fryer. In Mexico, demand remained strong but revenue declined due a not-yet-renewed loyalty program by a major retailer.
South America. The South America business environment remained generally favorable and SEB sales were up an organic 10.4% at end-September, with Imusa adding nearly €43 million to revenue over seven months. In Brazil, demand remained solid in the small electrical appliance segment, in particular with a sharp recovery in fans and a very good performance by Actifry, Dolce Gusto, personal care products and filter coffee makers. In Colombia, strong consumer spending and the deployment of the Imusa small electrical appliance brand led to robust revenue growth. The business also benefited from surging sales in Chile and a recovery in Venezuela.
Asia-Pacific. All Asia-Pacific markets saw strong growth. In China, Groupe SEB’s second largest market, sales rose 25% in the third quarter, driven by the extension of Supor’s line-up of small electrical appliances, by robust demand in cookware, and by continued deployment of Supor Lifestores. In Japan SEB saw strong performance, with gains in food preparation appliances. In South Korea, sales growth accelerated in the third-quarter on the success of the recently launched products.
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