By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Breville overall standing in Australia grew, with reported earnings before interest and tax of 13.5 per cent, however, Australian sales declined by 1.7 per cent.

Weak consumer sentiment and deflationary retail price pressures have been held accountable, according to a statement released on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The Kambrook and Breville brands were mentioned on the report as strong performers, but there was no word on Philips. There also remains a strong focus on the tightening of working capital management during a still difficult trading environment.

Breville’s international operation proved to be the outstanding performer with a 21.7 per cent rise in reported sales while earnings before interest and tax is up 39 per cent compared to the prior corresponding period. Earnings before interest and tax for the first half was 13.9 per cent – close to being on par with Australia’s result. The company said global distribution had returned to pre-GFC levels.

In the United States, where Damian Court has recently been appointed as president of the US operation, there has been a continued strengthening and acceptance of the brand, an improved retail distribution and a strong pipeline of product launches which has seen the operation return such a profitable result, according to the ASX report.

The company has reaffirmed its guidance forecast but says it remains cautious, pointing out potential volatile foreign exchanges, increased costs in China, subdued consumer confidence and price erosion as considerations.

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