By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: Ian Campbell, managing director of Sunbeam’s parent company GUD Holdings, said the small appliances manufacturer enjoyed "double digit profit growth" over the half year to December 31.

While he could not give specific figures, Campbell told the business had grown due to an expanded range, which was "well received by our retailers".

GUD Holdings’ total earnings for the half came in at $38.3 million, a 31 per cent increase from the $29.2 million result last year.

The record EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Tax) result came as total group sales increased seven per cent to $285.2 million, up from $265.6 million this time last year, and net profit increased to $17.5 million, up 18 per cent year-on-year.

The results include the $6 million spent on the Oates cleaning business restructure following GUD dropping the then loss-making Bissell brand.

Campbell also said he had not seen any effects of increased petrol prices or interest rates towards the end of the year.

However, he admitted there would be “headwinds” as interest rate rises kicked in, along with higher fruit and vegetable prices.

Despite this, Campbell remained bullish in predicting a strong year ahead for the group.

“We’ve got a lot of momentum. We gave guidance at the beginning of the year our profits would improve ten to fifteen per cent over the prior year and with a 30 per cent increase in EBIT in the first half, I think we feel reasonably comfortable about reaffirming that guidance.”

While GUD said Sunbeam’s production costs had risen from their Chinese suppliers, a strong Australian and New Zealand Dollar had helped counteract that. While the local currency dropped on the back of sharp falls in global share prices, Campbell said the company’s nine-month-long currency hedge would help cushion it from any impacts from a drop in the local and New Zealand Dollar. 

He said both the Oates and Victa businesses also did “extremely well”, and he expected continued improvement from Oates now that they were no longer involved with Bissell.

Campbell also said Sunbeam’s Mother’s Day range would be “very strong."