F&P sees potential in former De’Longhi cooking factory

By James Wells

AUCKLAND: Fisher & Paykel Appliances believes that there is more profit opportunities from Elba cooking business acquired from De’Longhi earlier this year after the business delivered $NZ4 million in profit for the six months to 30 September, 2006.

On 15 June this year, Fisher & Paykel paid De’Longhi for Elba S.p.A. – a cooking manufacturing business based at Treviso in Italy.

Elba manufactures and distributes cookware products, including freestanding cookers, built-in ovens and cooktops.
In a statement to shareholders, Fisher & Paykel chairman, Gary Paykel, said the Elba acquisition provides his company with a platform to achieve strategic growth in Europe through significantly increased distribution and access to a range of cooking products designed for both the local European and UK markets.

“These will complement our own range of products. Synergistic benefits are also expected to be realised between the three cooking plants in Italy, USA and New Zealand. Elba contributed $3.995 million to operating profit before interest, taxation and amortisation for the half, which is in line with expectations,” he said.

“Our European operation, including the UK and Ireland, is currently progressing through a restructuring phase. With the purchase of Elba S.p.A. in June, Europe now offers a major opportunity for expansion and the realisation of synergies related to product, distribution and manufacturing,” Paykel said.

With the inclusion of sales from Elba S.p.A., Fisher & Paykel’s business in Europe and the UK generated revenue of $NZ46.213 million for the six months to 30 September, up 503 per cent. Excluding Elba S.p.A., sales exceeded the previous corresponding period by approximately 62 per cent.

Rest of World sales increased 170 per cent to $22.475 million. Excluding Elba S.p.A., sales were approximately 16 percent up on the previous corresponding period.

“The purchase of Elba S.p.A. in Italy, has positioned the Appliances Group for expansion in Europe. Early in the new calendar year, we will be commencing direct distribution in the Italian market," Paykel said.

“This will provide an opportunity to distribute Fisher & Paykel branded product in addition to the current Elba manufactured range of cookware. Work has commenced on implementing manufacturing synergies between the three cooking facilities in Italy, the USA and New Zealand. These will be realised over the next 12 to 18 months. Fisher & Paykel branded product for sale in New Zealand, Australia, Italy and USA is expected to be available from the Elba factory early in the new calendar year."

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