European appliance maker Merloni Elettrodomestici announced that it expects to close 2004 with a substantial increase in sales volumes and market shares and with profit margins in line with expectations.
“In spite of the uncertain macro-economic scenario, Merloni is expecting to close the year with positive results in line with expectations,” said Vittorio Merloni. “Returns on the industrial investments we've made in Russia and Poland this year enable us to look optimistically at the coming months.”
The company announced that sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2004 increased 6.5 percent from 803 million euro (approx. U.S. $1 billion) in 2003 to 856 million euros (approx. $1.1 billion). Gross operating margin for the third quarter was reported at 108 million euros (approx. $138 million), up from 105 million euros (approx. $134 million) in 2003.
Merloni reported that sales for the first 9 months of 2004 were 2.3 billion euros (approx. $2.9 billion), a 6.7-percent increase from 2.2 billion euros (approx. $2.8 billion) in the same period of 2003.
In the third quarter, the company increased its market share in Europe by 0.3 percent compared to the 2003, reaching 15.8 percent. Merloni said it also continued to pursue its policy of consolidating in Western Europe and developing higher potential growth markets such as Russia and Poland, where it said it is achieving a balance between local production and demand.
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