Electrolux has market-leading positions in Australia and New Zealand and is expanding in growth markets in Southeast Asia and China. New product offerings adapted to meet an expanding middle class in these growth markets comprise a key element of the growth strategy.
Gunilla Nordström, Head of Major Appliances Asia/Pacific
About half of Electrolux appliances sales in the Asia/Pacific region is in Australia, where the Group is the market leader. The Electrolux brand is positioned in the premium segment with a focus on innovation, energy and water efficiency, and design. The Group’s Westinghouse and Simpson brands command strong positions in the mass-market segment. Key competitors comprise Fisher & Paykel, Samsung and LG Electronics. The market softened slightly in 2014, and the Group’s sales volumes declined. Water and energy efficiency are key drivers in the hot and dry Australian climate. Electrolux dishwashers and front-load washing machines are well adapted to these conditions and have significant market shares.
During the year, Electrolux acquired Australian BeefEater Barbecues, which has a strong, established position in the barbecue segment. in Australia. A considerable amount of cooking is done outdoors and the acquisition complements and strengthens the Electrolux offering and position in this segment.
Electrolux sees substantial growth potential in the barbecue segment, since it accounts for almost one quarter of the cooking-products market in Australia.
Growth in the appliance market in Southeast Asia has been strong in recent years, but demand declined in 2014. Electrolux sales has showed strong grown in the region and market shares have increased.
Electrolux has a strong offering of premium products, for example, energy-efficient front-load washing machines and built-in appliances for the kitchen, such as gas hobs with burners that are especially adapted for stir frying. Premium products are in demand by a rapidly growing middle class. Demand is also increasing for energy-efficient products. Refrigerators from the newly opened plant in Thailand further strengthened Electrolux position in Southeast Asia during the year.
China is the world’s largest market for household appliances, measured by volume and, in the last few years, the growth rate in the region has been high. In 2014, market demand declined year-over-year. The Electrolux market share of the Chinese market is relatively low, but sales has grown by an average of about 35% per year since 2009. Electrolux is focusing its offering on premium products for the rapidly growing middle class in major cities in China and has a complete range of kitchen and laundry appliances, which has been especially developed for Chinese consumers.
To further streamline and consolidate manufacturing, production is transferred from Orange, Australia, to the plant opened in 2013 in Rayong, Thailand. The plant is at the center of the Group’s global development of refrigerators and plays a crucial role in efforts to achieve profitable growth in the Asia/Pacific market.
Electrolux showed a slight organic growth in 2014. Sales volumes continued to increase in growth markets, while sales in Australia declined.
Operating income was impacted by a negative country mix and unfavorable currency development., while higher prices and enhanced cost structure contributed to earnings.
The Electrolux NutriFresh Fridge is produced at the new plant in Rayong, Thailand. The fridge is developed to meet Asian consumer needs for optimal storage of vegetables.
Front-load washing machines is a growing segment in Southeast Asia. In 2014, the Electrolux Time Manager washing machine was named a winner at the Successful Design Awards, a competition that recognizes successful designs in the Chinese market.
The acquisition of Australian BeefEater Barbecues strengthens the Electrolux offering and positions the company in the key barbecue segment, which accounts for almost one-quarter of the cooking products market in Australia.