Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004

Cross Currency

Group Sites

Marketing - Strategy
Corporate - Diversification

Whirlpool India shifts focus to AC, microwave segments

C.R. Sukumar

Hyderabad , June 28

HAVING suffered a severe pressure on margins due to multiple factors in the last accounting year that lead to a net loss of around Rs 34 crore, Whirlpool of India Ltd, the Rs 1,558-crore home appliances major and market leader in the domestic refrigerator industry, is now contemplating a significant shift in its focus areas.

The company, which has been concentrating mostly on refrigerators and laundering machines, is eyeing the huge air-conditioner and microwave market in the country for its future growth and comfortable margins.

A senior Whirlpool official told Business Line that enhanced competition, significant price erosion, particularly in the refrigeration segment, and a steep rise in input prices of commodities have put the company's margins under severe pressure.

To mitigate the impact, the company has been taking stringent cost control measures, new trade management strategies and increasing efforts to implement lean management programme and eliminate wastage in all areas of manufacturing.

To maximise the benefits and to promote further exports, the company has also converted its Pondicherry facility into an export-oriented unit.

On the outlook for the current fiscal, he said by extending the `fast forward ice system' across product segments in the refrigerator range, the company was able to consolidate its market share.

Having launched highly successful premium range in `no frost' refrigerators in the previous accounting period, the company now finds a strong opportunity to improve share in the `no frost' segment. Whirlpool is also planning new product launches extending the benefits of the premium range across the complete `no frost' range.

Stating that the new range holds plenty of promise for the coming years, he said there were a few more new product launches with consumer-relevant, innovative solutions that were expected to help the company grow its volumes, revenue and margins in the coming year. "The air-conditioner category, with an industry size of Rs 1,500 crore, presents a big opportunity. The microwave business, given the extremely low penetration levels, has a large potential in terms of growth," the official said.

More Stories on : Strategy | Diversification | Consumer Electronics

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
Whirlpool India shifts focus to AC, microwave segments

Hansa Vision plans four theme-based exhibitions
TV networks unbundle channels to sell airtime
Carat India plans to acquire media cos
Café Coffee Day outlet in Hyderabad
Stiff competition hits sales realisation of white goods: ICRA
Emami to rejig brand portfolio
Rajat Jain quits SET Max, joins Walt Disney as MD
Amul wants NDDB nominee on board out — Cites `conflict of business interest'
Gillette unveils MACH3 Turbo shaving system
MyTVS ties up with MyVakil for legal help on road
Voltas cooling range launched in UAE
Mobile refill facility from Centurion Bank

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright © 2004, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line