By Craig Zammit

DENMARK: Danish high-end CE manufacturer, Bang & Olufsen, has announced a new range of hi-fi speakers and systems at more affordable price-points will be sold through Australian David Jones stores, in an attempt to boost sales leading into the Christmas selling period.

The new range will endeavour to attract customers who aspire to own Bang & Olufsen products, but who have yet been unable to afford them.

Including headsets, cordless and mobile phones, portable speakers and key rings, the new range will form part of Bang & Olufsen’s plan to reach a turnover of $1.33 billion by 2010. Earnings for 2005-06 financial year were up 13 per cent overall, according to the company.

“It is close to a 50 per cent increase in a three-year period, with an EBIT (earning before interest and tax) target of 10 per cent,” Bang & Olufsen managing director Asia Pacific, Lars Myrup, told The Australian Financial Review.

“We are on track to reach that target,” he said.

The company now plans to franchise its existing stores by splitting the business into State-based territories, with negotiations already underway with numerous parties, the newspaper reported.

Bang & Olufsen currently operates 13 stores in Australia and two in New Zealand, with plans to re-introduce a Bang & Olufsen store in Perth, WA.