By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Groupe SEB’s global business continued to improve in the first six months of 2007. At €1.2 billion, worldwide sales were up 9.8% for the period at current exchange rates with Australian sales benefiting from their local marketing campaigns.

According to the company, sales reflected higher volumes, an improved product mix and higher average selling prices. They were led by a few blockbusters, such as cookware, hair dryers, breadmakers and new vacuum cleaner models, as well as by the upturn in several European markets and the group’s sustained international expansion, especially in South America. The company stated that conditions remained challenging in a small number of other regions, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom.

In Australia, the group’s well established advertising campaign is bearing fruits.

“We had good double digit growth for the first half of 2007 in Australia,” said Wivina Chaneliere, managing director Groupe SEB Australia & New Zealand.

“The reason for this result is our heavy advertising campaign running from Mother’s Day on Tefal. We spent $1.5 million on our Jamie Oliver by Tefal TVC, Electrical Steamer TVC and steam irons Aquaspeed TVCs. We also achieved a great response to our consumer promotions, including our $100 cash back on steam generators and our five piece Jamie Oliver Tefal cookware giveaway with Krups Fully Automatics espresso machines.

“These marketing activities helped drive sales and we also want to increase brand awareness and we find that our television commercials are working for us.”

Worldwide Groupe SEB has 13,800 employees and operates in more than 120 countries. The company distributes the following brands: All-Clad, Arno, Calor, Krups, Lagostina, Mirro, Moulinex, Panex, Rowenta, Samurai, Seb, Tefal and WearEver.

In Australia, in the electrical appliance market Groupe SEB concentrates on Tefal, Krups and Moulinex and in cookware they distribute Tefal, Jamie Oliver by Tefal and All Clad.