By James Wells

SYDNEY: Miele Australia, the largest importer of European appliances, has made the ambitious prediction that it will double its current sales turnover in the next five years after growing by 24 per cent year on year for the three months to 31 March 2006.

Miele Australia general manager – sales, Martin Carter told this bullish prediction was possible, despite slow sales across the entire market.

“We are looking to double our sales again over the next five years. And we will do it without expanding our current distribution,” Carter said at the DesignEx exhibition in Sydney last week.

“In the first quarter of 2006, we were up in excess of 24 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2005. We are going from strength to strength in an industry that is flat.

“We have experienced strong growth in wet products across the entire country. Dishwashers and washing machines have been performing extremely well, particularly after our $100 off promotion during January and February," Carter said.

Sales of our vacuum cleaners increased by 120 per cent in the first quarter of 2006 compared to the corresponding period last year following the successful release of our S5 series of machines.

At the interior design show, Miele showed a number of new products including an upgraded washer dryer with 5.5kg wash and 2.5kg dry capacity. Retailing for $3499, it features a vivid white enamel finish as well as the proprietary
Navitronic controls and HoneyComb drum.

Carter also displayed the release of the first sub-$3,000 70cm oven from the brand. The new H4740 replaces previous models which were priced from $4,400 to $4,500. Three new induction cooktops in 60cm, 70cm and 90cm configurations were also unveiled.

On its stand, Miele previewed a new surface called Titanium on a 90cm oven, which is currently being tested globally at various events and exhibitions until the end of June.

“We are investigating whether Titanium will be the next big thing after stainless steel and the reaction has been positive so far. Stainless steel is 90 per cent of the business at the moment and we have had good success with aluminium as we are the only company that has brought in an entire range," he said.

Carter also announced a mid-June opening date for the company’s showroom on Gilbert Park Drive at Knoxfield in Melbourne. The opening will be attended by both Dr Reinhard Christian Zinkann and Marcus Miele around on the 14th and 15th of June. Known as the Miele Gallery, the showroom will be the first of several metropolitan showrooms to be built in major capital cities around Australia.