By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Dimplex will enter the upcoming heating products season in the number one position ahead of traditional category leader De’Longhi after the company’s heating sales grew 47.7 per cent last season.

According to October 2006 GfK data from the end of last year’s heating season, Dimplex held 16 per cent market share in the category compared with De’Longhi’s 14.5 per cent.

Dimplex product manager – heating, Kelly Stewart, said the company’s recent growth can be attributed to its wide product range, dedicated sales representatives and after sales support.

“We have had healthy growth in all states, all products and all accounts in the last 12 months because of the level of service we provide,” said Stewart.

“People come to us because we can supply their needs and have good backup service as well. How we are positioning ourselves this year is as a one-stop-shop where we have something to cover every heating requirement a consumer might have.”

Dimplex experienced strong growth in the flame effects heating category, which saw new players enter the expanding market which grew 600 per cent last season.

“Our flame effects heater sales grew by two and a half times what we sold the year before – we sold around 17,500 in the 2006 calendar year. We certainly are the leader in flame effects and are way ahead of the closest second. The quality of our products also reflects that,” said Stewart.

Oil column heaters were also a strong performer for Dimplex last year, said Stewart, and contributed to the company’s sales growth.

“Oil columns are another flagship product that have done very well for us. The OFC2411TIF (RRP $175) is an exceptional product combining convection as well as radiant heat so you get quick warm-up – great for Aussie winters,” she said.

Retail buying activity is already underway as retailers stock up for the cold months ahead. Dimplex predicts the 2007 heating season will build on the strong growth experienced last year with around a five to six per cent category expansion.

“I think we will see some growth in the heating category this year, although maybe not like last year, but five or six per cent is realistic. We hope to have a good winter this year and are planning for growth. The feedback we are getting from our retail customers is the same,” she said.

Dimplex will launch 11 new products this season building on the 13 it launched in 2006.

The company’s distribution includes Betta Electrical, Bing Lee and various Narta members, Dick Smith Electronics, Harris Scarfe, Harvey Norman, Domayne, Joyce Mayne, Myer, Retravision, Radio Rentals, David Jones and The Good Guys.