By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Both Sunbeam and Breville have flagged price increases in the coming months, saying they are “inevitable” as increased labour, shipping and material costs take their toll.

Housewares International group managing director, Paul Hill, told that Breville would increase prices across the board by eight per cent from 1 July, while GUD Holdings managing director, Ian Campbell, said they had already started to pass on increases to clients.

Hill explained the rise by saying the Chinese currency’s movements against the US dollar, rising material prices and removal by the Chinese government of manufacturing incentives had all taken their toll.

“[The 1 July price increase] is directly attributable to the fact that the difference between the prices that the Chinese suppliers are asking and the strength of the Australian dollar can no longer support it, so we have to put price increases through to our customers,” he said.

“We’ve advised our customers in large part that effective July 1, we’re having a price increase.”

“It’s an unfortunate commercial reality,” he said.

Campbell said he too had taken a hit above the currency changes.

“Everyone’s had increased costs over and above the currency benefit. The currency strengthening has masked some of these cost increases, but we’ve all had cost increases and we’ve all had to try and pass it on, or take a margin hit,” he said.

He said the cost increases had only been passed onto retailers “selectively”, not across the board.

“When you have a particular product, we will certainly apply price increases,” he said. While he did not specify the products affected, he did say price rises had been passed onto consumers already.

The price increases are the latest sign of tougher times ahead for the appliance industry, along with many others who source items from China. Chinese whitegoods manufacturer Haier announced in February it would raise domestic prices, while all talk at the recent Hong Kong Electronics Fair also hinted at rising costs.