Breville owner posts sales drop, no new CEO on horizon

By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: Breville owner Housewares International (HWI) has posted a 2.9 per cent drop in group sales for the year ended 30 June, but managed to increase profit by 80.2 per cent at the same time.

Group sales came in at $425.8 million for the year, down from $438.4 million last financial year.

However, underlying EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) rose 46.1 per cent to $37.1 million, while net profit came in at $20.9 million, nearly double the $11.6 million posted in FY08.

Much of the sales drop appears to have come from HWI’s homewares business, sold during the year, while Breville, listed under the “Electrical” category, saw a 1.1 per cent sales increase to $194.7 million.

Breville’s international sales appeared more positive, up 27.9 per cent to $230.6 million, based on strong US and Canadian sales, the company said. Excluding Canada, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary, growth came in at 25.3 per cent.

HWI also said “the strong AU$ also had a negative impact on the translation of international earnings”.

The group also said it would not post an FY09 earnings guidance, consistent with previous years, due to it being unable to predict the Christmas period’s sales, but said it had “adopted a conservative FY09 budget” based on global economic uncertainty and falling consumer confidence.

No mention was made of any replacement for former chief executive, Paul Hill.

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