By James Wells

SAN FRANCISCO: Narta chairman, John Wipfli, today announced a 15.7 per cent growth to $2.5 billion in the year ending 30 June 2007, with the buying group outperforming the industry which grew by just 1.1 per cent over the period.

Wipfli conducted the opening address of the 2007 Narta Conference to 200 delegates including representatives from his buying group including JB Hi-Fi, Clive Peeters, Bing Lee and David Jones as well as the managing directors and national sales managers from major suppliers including Sony, LG, Samsung, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel and Panasonic.

“Last year I detailed Narta’s objectives going forward – namely, the consolidation of ordering, increased focus on category development, and ongoing review of new categories as they emerge. I am happy to report, these strategies paid off handsomely, with the group now having a combined sales turnover of $2.5 billion.

"Turnover of course, is only half the equation, the other half being comprised of growth, market share and the capacity to do something with it.

“The latest figures we have are year-to-date to the end of June. They show that during this period the industry grew by 1.1 per cent, while Narta grew by 15.7 per cent. These figures are of course pleasing, however they are now history, it’s what takes place in the future that will count,” Wipfli said.

“Narta today is well positioned to grow in the new environment. It provides multiple opportunities for its members to grow, and profit, from Narta’s strong links with suppliers.

“Those members who are maximising their purchases through Narta core suppliers, Narta targets, and Narta deals, are achieving significant profit advantages. I urge all members in their own interests to maximise their activities in these areas.

“Similarly, I strongly urge Narta suppliers to use the Narta office to its full extent. Those of you who recognise the strategic benefits of working through the Narta office are achieving significant and on going growth doing so.

“The year ahead will be no less challenging than one just completed. We must all hone and develop our strategies to ensure that we all adapt to this new environment.”