Turkish appliance maker Arçelik reported a sharp rise in 2004 profit and beat its sales target as falling interest rates fuelled strong demand for its products.
Arçelik's net profit rose nearly 70 percent to 293.20 million new lira (approx. U.S. $234 million) in 2004, the company reported. Net sales reached 4.91 billion new lira (approx. $3.83 billion), up from 3.80 billion new lira (approx. $3.03 billion) in 2003, exceeding the company's own target of $3 billion (approx. $2.4 billion).
Arçelik, part of Turkey's leading industrial conglomerate Koç Holding, has a 50-percent share of the country's market for white goods, including refrigerators, washing machines, and ovens.
Turkey's white goods market grew 64 percent last year to 5.04 million units as a result of a sharp drop in inflation and interest rates as the economy continued to gain strength in the wake of a 2001 financial crisis, which caused a deep recession.
Analysts said the market was expected to grow 5 to 10 percent this year with Arçelik possibly achieving double-digit growth.
The company previously announced that it would invest 50 million euros (approx. $66 million) in a washing machine plant in Russia, which is expected to begin production in 2006. (Reuters, Turkish Daily News)
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