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Haier breaks the ice, eyes refigerator unit

Haier breaks the ice, eyes refigerator unit

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Thursday, May 18,2006 7:05 AM

Haier breaks the ice, eyes refigerator unit

Haier India is planning to acquire a refrigerator manufacturing unit in India, industry sources say. Various names are in the air as prospective targets, though there is no word on the local companies that are in negotiations for a deal.

“Haier India has been looking at manufacturing opportunities since its entry. This year, the company is confident of making progress on those plans, either through acquisitions or greenfield projects, “ a senior company executive told ET. Haier India president and CEO TK Banerjee refused to comment.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese home appliance major manufactures a wide array of colour TVs, airconditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, microwave ovens and DVD players. It clocked revenues of Rs 325 crore in calendar 2005; it is targeting a turnover of more than Rs 600 crore this year.

The plans to set up a manufacturing unit in India was announced two years back. It was intended to serve as a sourcing base for south Asia, West Asia and Africa, besides supplying the domestic market. The plan remained stillborn. Asked just how far Haier had gone in its quest to set up the manufacturing unit, Mr Banerjee said: “We are considering the right time to make that move, and for the market to evolve. The market, at present, is skewed towards low-end products. We need to achieve certain economies of scale and to get the right product mix.”

The company has third-party manufacturing arrangements for CTVs and window ACs, while split ACs are imported from its facilities overseas. It sources refrigerators from Whirlpool and Anchor Daewoo under a contract manufacturing agreement.

The growth drivers for the company, feels Mr Banerjee, would be airconditioners, colour TVs and refrigerators this year. Haier India plans to increase the number of its exclusive outlets called Planet Haier from 16 at present to 30 by the end of this year.

Early this year the company had disclosed its vision of emerging as one of the top 3 consumer durable players in India by 2010.

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