By James Wells

MELBOURNE: The departure of Martin Carter from Miele Australia has raised more questions than answers with no news regarding his replacement or the reasons behind the departure. One thing is for certain – Carter is not joining Electrolux.

Electrolux Home Products managing director Trevor Carroll told this afternoon that Carter would not be joining the Sydney-based company.

"No he is not," was Carroll’s brief reply.

When Appliance Retailer tried to contact Carter today on his mobile phone, the phone call was diverted to the receptionist at Miele Australia who advised that Carter had handed in his phone before he left the building.

Attempts to obtain comments from Miele Australia managing director, Michael Jeanes, were thwarted this afternoon when consultants working with the company locked themselves out of their offices at South Yarra in Melbourne.

As the national sales manager representing one of the best brands in the appliance industry, Carter delivered compound sales growth of over 20 per cent during his time with the company.

In April last year, Carter audaciously claimed that Miele would double its turnover to $300 million in the five-year period from 2006 to 2010, despite growing by 24 per cent year-on-year for the three months to March 31 last year.

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

Also in April last year, Carter claimed he had grown the brand’s vacuum cleaner sales by 120 per cent in the first quarter of 2006 following the introduction of the S5 range. understands Miele grew sales in vacuum cleaners by approximately $5 million in value over the 12 months ending 2006.

Strong categories for Miele include major cooking products and the ‘wet’ category which includes dishwashers and front load washing machines which perform strongly particularly during promotional periods.

Carter further claimed in August last year that Miele Australia had grown by 27 per cent in the first five months of 2006, compared to the first five months of 2005. In May 2006, Carter claimed the brand achieved a company sales record by recording growth of 54 per cent compared to the corresponding month a year earlier.

Miele Australia is one of the top-10 subsidiaries of the German whitegoods specialist, which achieved global sales of $A4.2 billion over the last 12 months.

Miele Australia has increased turnover on average by 15 per cent a year, every year, since launch.