By Martin Vedris

PARIS, FRANCE: Groupe SEB announced that in the nine months to September this year, the group achieved a 41 per cent year-on-year increase in global operating margin to €165 million and a 10.6 per cent growth ins ales to €1.912 billion from €1.729 billion.

The company also stated that its September third quarter revenue increased by 12.2 per cent.

In the financial statement, Groupe SEB advised it had made new inroads in Australia, continued its recovery in South Korea and reported strong growth in Southeast Asia, notably in Malaysia. Satisfactory growth was also recorded in Japan, despite the unfavourable impact of price increases to offset the decline in the Yen against the Euro.

“The inroads on the Australian market concerns our progress on Krups Coffee machines, Tefal steam generators, steamers, irons, toasters, kettles, deep fryers business overall across Australia and New Zealand as well as great results in our Jamie Oliver  and Tefal Cookware product ranges,” said Groupe SEB Australia & New Zealand’s managing director, Wivina Chaneliere.

“We are above last year and above our Budget YTD. We are very pleased with the results that we have achieved across our business for both cookware and electrical. These results reflect our ongoing commitment to continual product innovation, investment into our brands and supporting our retailers through strong trade related activity. We will continue to support Krups, Tefal and Moulinex to ensure that we maintain the strong growth and momentum that we have achieved”.

In the press statement, Groupe SEB said, “the increase was mostly due to volume gains and high-quality sales, as the improvement in the product mix and a slight increase in selling prices easily offset higher raw material costs. Disciplined management of overheads also produced results, enabling the Group to implement a strategy intended to drive future growth through stepped-up R&D programs and significant increases in fourth-quarter marketing and advertising budgets.”

The company also stated that favourable exchange rates contributed to the results, which it says cannot be extrapolated over the entire year because, “the fourth quarter accounts for a sizeable portion of Group sales; Fourth-quarter 2006 in particular offers a high prior-year comparative; and the Group will invest heavily in marketing and advertising in the fourth quarter to drive future growth.”

Also reported was €111 million increase in the company’s debt at 30 September 2007 after the acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in China’s Zhejiang Supor Cookware Co.