Major local supplier now more focused on the foreigners

By Patrick Avenell

The CEO of Housewares International (HWI), distributor of Breville, Kambrook and Philips brands, has told shareholders the group will be focusing on the international markets, with foreign shores becoming more profitable for the group.

HWI chief executive Stephen Audsley told shareholders that the international operations, which now comprises 14 countries, overtook the Australian market over the last financial year, and now equates to 54 per cent of the company’s total revenues. This represents and enormous swing from just four years ago, when FY04 international revenue was just 31 per cent.

Audsley attributed this growth to investment and infrastructure.

“This refocusing of the business has required substantial investment in recent years to expand our product development resources together with building local infrastructure in both the US and Canada,” said Audsley.

Although Audsley lauded the efforts of HWI to maintain strong market share in Australia, the focus of his message to shareholders was clearly the international market, which appears to now be the group’s primary focus.

After making note of the disperse regions now being supplied, including the Americas, the Middle East, South Africa, Eastern and Western Europe and New Zealand, Audsley predicted an even greater improvement in revenues from these markets.

“We now have the platform from which we can consolidate and then continue to grow our share of international markets.”

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